Preston tops Panthers in loss to in-state rivals
KEENE, N.H. – Matt Ozzella scored a career-high 19 points, leading the Keene State College men's basketball team to an 81-68 Little East Conference win over Plymouth State University on Wednesday night at Spaulding Gym.
The Owls improve to 14-4, and 5-3 in the LEC, while the Panthers are 6-12, and 1-7 against LEC opposition.
Tom Doyle was the only other Owl in double figures, scoring 18 points. Nate Howard grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. KSC won the battle of the boards, outrebounding PSU 51-33, and 19-10 on the offensive glass.
Sophomore Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) led Plymouth State with 16 points, eight rebounds, and six blocked shots. Sophomore Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) talliesd 11 points, while classmate Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) and freshman Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.) added 10 points apiece.
The Owls led from start to finish, scoring the first seven points of the game and opening up a 17-4 lead with 12:08 to play on Ozzella's layup. The sophomore stretched the KSC advantage to 17 when he was fouled on a three point attempt and knocked down all three free throws.
Doyle's three with 4:09 left in the first half gave the Owls a 36-16 lead, and KSC led 43-26 at halftime.
The Panthers chipped away in the second half, embarking on 14-7 run over the first six minutes of the second half to pull within 50-40, with Preston, Arsenault, and Boulay each having four points during that span. Another layup from Preston got the Panthers within single digits at 60-51, but Nate Howard converted a three point play on the next possession up the floor, and Plymouth State never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Keene State heads to the University of Southern Maine for a 3 p.m. tip-off on Saturday. The Panthers will also be in action on Saturday, hosting Eastern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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