Panthers' strong interior play leads to another win
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Plymouth State University improved to 3-0 after getting past Framingham State University, 57-50, in men's basketball action Thursday night. With the win the Panthers are off to the best three game start since the 2006-2007 season, when PSU opened the year 4-0.
Junior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) led all scorers with 16 points, while classmate Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) added 14 points and six rebounds. Senior Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) contributed 11 points and six rebounds, as sophomore Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.) had eight points. Senior guard Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) put in a complete effort, stuffing the box score with four points, two steals, three assists and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Tony Alexandre (Hyde Park, Mass.) led the Rams (1-3) with 15 points (7-of-9 shooting) and seven rebounds, as senior Jacek Louisville (Worcester, Mass.) contributed 13 points.
The Rams jumped out to a 9-2 lead early in the first half, but the Panthers used a 14-2 run, capped by a three in transition from Arsenault, to take a 16-11 lead. Plymouth State pushed the lead to as many as nine, 24-15, on a steal and layup from Clarke, before taking a 30-22 lead into halftime.
Framingham State opened the second half with a 5-0 spurt, fueled by a bucket in the paint from Alexandre to pull within three, 30-27, but the Panthers responded with a 10-2 run of their own, highlighted by a reverse lay-in from Preston and another three from Arsenault, pushing the lead to 40-29 with 13:15 left to play.
Arsenault and Boulay both hit a pair of free throws, giving PSU its largest lead, 49-35, with 5:11 remaining. Framingham State made things interesting, using a 13-5 run to close within six, 54-48, with 50 seconds to go behind a pair of three-pointers from junior Daniel Gould (Quincy, Mass.) and a layup from Alexandre. Clarke hit one-of-two from the line, followed by a pair of free throws by Boulay, to wrap up PSU's third straight win.
Plymouth State shot a solid 46% from the floor (20-of-44), while holding the Rams to 40% shooting (17-of-43). The Panthers owned the glass, outrebounding FSU 38-25.
Plymouth State opens Little East Conference play Saturday at UMass Dartmouth (3:00 p.m.). The Panthers will look to avenge last season's 88-87 overtime loss on a buzzer-beating jumper at the Tripp Athletic Center. The Rams will host Trinity College Tuesday night (6:00 p.m.).
(With contributions from Framingham State University Sports Information)
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