Boulay leads Panthers to 9-1 start
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.) scored the final 11 points for Plymouth State University as the Panthers jumped out to a big early lead and held on late, defeating Salem State 83-73 in men's basketball Thursday night.
Plymouth State improves to 9-1 on the year, while the Vikings fall to 4-5.
Boulay and the Panthers led from wire to wire, using an 18-0 run over a five minute stretch in the first half to turn a 9-7 lead into a 27-7 margin. Sophomore Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) started the run with a layup, followed by a three-pointer from junior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.). A steal by junior Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) led to a dunk from freshman Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.). Arsenault capped the run with another long ball.
The Vikings got three points from the free throw line around a Boulay jumper, then Boulay got to the rim and connected on a layup to push the Panther lead to 21 points, 31-10, with 8:26 left in the opening half. PSU, which was plagued by foul trouble early, saw its lead shaved down to 10 points, 36-26, after freshman Zach Hurynowicz (Burlington, Mass.) got inside for a layup, but Johnson responded by swishing a three from the left wing.
Junior Nick MacGregor (Rochester, N.H.) drilled a three-pointer from the right sideline to give Plymouth State a 44-31 advantage with 33 seconds left in the opening half, but sophomore Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) countered from downtown and the Panthers led 44-34 at the intermission. PSU was 5-of-6 from long range in the opening half.
Junior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) scored eight quick points for Plymouth State early in the second half, and a Boulay jumper made it 56-44 after five minutes. PSU was able to maintain an eight-point advantage over the next several minutes, until Hurynowicz hit a layup to bring Salem State within four points, 66-62.
Arsenault responded hitting a layup after an aggressive cut and pretty feed from junior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.). The Vikings were able to cut the margin to four points three additional times, but each time PSU had an answer. Hurynowicz got to the rim again to make it 72-68 with 2:12 to play but Boulay responded by nailing a deep three from the left wing, sparking a personal 8-0 run. Boulay added three more points from the free throw line, where he finished a perfect 8-of-8, to ice the 83-73 victory.
Boulay finished with 23 points, five assists and four rebounds, while Preston was good for 16 points and five rebounds. Arsenault added 15 points (3-of-3 from downtown) and four rebounds and senior Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) added his third double-double of the season, scoring 11 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.
The Vikings got a 23-point, 18-rebound effort from Faison and Hurynowicz finished with 14 points. Murray added 10 points and four rebounds in the losing effort.
Plymouth State shot exactly 50% from the floor (31-of-62), while holding Salem State to 36% shooting (27-of-75). The Panthers have shot 50% or better in all four of their home games this season. The Vikings owned a 48-38 advantage on the boards, only the second time this year that Plymouth State has been out-rebounded.
Plymouth State wraps up the fall semester with a non-conference home contest against the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Saturday (2:00 p.m.). Salem State will travel to Becker College Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.
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