Burt scores 22 to lead Panthers; Skevas reaches 1,000
DUDLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Irving Eggleston (East Lyme, Conn.) and freshman Taylor Sarette (Keene, N.H.) combined for 31 points off the bench Wednesday evening as top-seeded Nichols College defeated eighth-seeded Plymouth State University, 82-65, in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament at the Nichols Athletic Center.
Eggleston scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds while Sarette contributed 12 points and six boards. Nichols got 63 of its 82 points from the bench.
Junior Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) led all scorers with 22 points off the Panther bench, as he hit 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range. Freshman Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Senior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) reached a milestone when he became the 25th player in Plymouth State men's basketball history to reach 1,000 points. Skevas, a Second Team All-Conference selection, wraps up his career with 1,002 points.
Nichols, 23-6, advances to the ECAC Semifinals this Saturday, Mar. 8, with the championship game slated for Sunday, Mar. 9. Plymouth State finishes the season with a 13-14 record, a six-win improvement over last year.
The Bison took an early double-digit lead, 17-5, just seven minutes into the game. Freshman Nathan Clarke (New Boston, N.H.) made a pair of baskets to jump-start the PSU offense to a 13-1 run, tying the game at 18-all on two Skevas free throws with 6:46 remaining in the half that put him on exactly 1,000 points.
Burt hit one of his four three-pointers with 4:47 to play in the half to give PSU a 25-22 lead, but then the Nichols offense exploded. After scoring 22 points in the first 15 minutes, Nichols tallied 25 points in the final five minutes, outscoring PSU 25-11 to take a 47-36 lead into the intermission.
Burt hit a pair of threes early in the second half to keep the Panthers in the game until the team made a late run. After trailing by double digits most of the half, including a 17-point deficit, the Panthers rallied on buckets by Arsenault and Burt, pulling to within seven points, 70-63, with 5:30 to play. But that's as close as PSU would come as Nichols closed out the game, outscoring the Panthers 12-2 in the last five minutes.
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