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February 15, 2014

PSU Men’s Basketball rallies past UMass Boston

Panthers come back from down 16 to capture LEC win

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds remaining Saturday afternoon to cap a furious comeback as Plymouth State University rallied past the University of Massachusetts Boston, 71-70, in a dramatic Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

            Senior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) led a balanced PSU attack with 15 points and eight assists while freshman Logan Kesty (New Boston, N.H.) added 13 points off the bench and Arsenault chipped in with 11. Eleven different players got into the scoring column as the Panthers won their second straight to improve to 12-11 overall and 6-6 in the Little East.

            The Beacons got a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds from junior Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) and 17 points and five boards from classmate Gregory Young (Boston, Mass.).  Senior Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points and freshman Tyquan Ekejiuba (Randolph, Mass.) nine but UMB slid to 6-17 overall and 0-12 in league play.

            UMass Boston held the advantage much of the first half, leading by as much as 11 points (23-12) midway through the frame and by double digits the last two minutes. The lead was as high as 16 points and it was a 14-point Beacon margin at the intermission, 43-29.

            The Panthers trailed by as many as 16 points early in the second half before mounting the comeback. PSU started with 10 unanswered points, started by a dunk from freshman Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.). It was still a 10-point UMB lead (56-46) at the mid-point of the second half but PSU hung around and pulled to within a point, 61-60, with five minutes to go.

            UMB didn't relinquish the lead and a three-pointer by Young pushed the lead back up to four points, and it stayed within two possessions the rest of the way. A pair of Skevas free throws with 1:25 to play pulled the Panthers to within two, 70-68, and Arsenault's three with 31 seconds left proved to be the difference. UMB had one last chance after a timeout but could convert the winning basket at the buzzer.

            The Panthers recognized four seniors prior to the game on Senior Day – Skevas, Mark MacGregor (Rochester, N.H.), Nick Moll (Swampscott, Mass.) and student assistant coach Rex Rossen.

            Both teams are back on the court Tuesday with LEC contests as PSU visits rival Keene State College and UMB returns home to host the University of Southern Maine.