Skevas comes up big down the stretch for Panthers
GORHAM, Maine – With the score tied at 67 with 2:15 to play, Plymouth State University senior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) scored the Panthers' final six points of the game to lead his team to a hard-fought 73-69 Little East Conference win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies Tuesday night at Hill Gym.
Skevas led five Panthers in double-figures with 13 points and had a game-high seven assists. Freshman Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) added 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting off the bench and junior Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) tossed in 11 points. Seniors Shomari Morgan (Manchester, N.H.) and Mark MacGregor (Rochester, N.H.) each scored 10 points.
Southern Maine senior Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) was 13-for-18 from the field for a career-high 30 points to pace the Huskies. Sophomore Jacob Littlefield (Mechanic Falls, Maine) tossed in 15 points, including a 3-for-6 mark from three-point range. Senior Tyler Penney (Barnstead, N.H.) added eight points, while senior James Odneal (Pontiac, Mich.) added seven points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
In a well-played first half, Southern Maine led the Panthers 34-29 as Sullivan was 6-for-8 from the field for 12 points. The Huskies' trailed PSU 24-22 with 4:38 in the half, but closed the opening stanza on a 12-5 run spurred by back-to-back three-pointers from Littlefield.
In the second half, PSU used a 7-2 run to pull even with the Huskies. A three from Burt at 18:28 made the score 36 all and sent the game into a see-saw battle. The Huskies regained the lead on a slashing layup from Sullivan, but could not pull away from the Panthers as both teams traded baskets. Ahead by four, 49-45, on another layup from Sullivan at the 12:08 mark, Plymouth State mounted a decisive 11-2 run over the next three minutes to grab the lead from the Huskies.
A four-point play from Burt on a three and a free throw swung the momentum in favor of the Panthers to key the run, while Morgan connected on back-to-back layups to counter a short jumper from USM's Odneal for a 53-51 lead. A free throw from Skevas and a layup from sophomore Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) made it 56-51 with 9:53 to play.
PSU stayed ahead of Southern Maine and led by five, 64-59, with 6:15 to play before the Huskies rallied with a 6-0 run to grab the narrowest of leads 65-64 capped by a three from Sullivan with 3:41 to play. Both teams again battled back and forth and the Huskies led 67-65 with 2:37 to play before the Panthers' Skevas led his team to the win scoring six of the Panthers final eight points.
Both teams play LEC games on Saturday as Southern Maine (5-11, 1-5) travels to Western Connecticut and Plymouth State (9-7, 3-3) heads to UMass Dartmouth.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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