Nwokeji leads Panthers on 10-of-13 shooting
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's basketball team opened 2016 with a hard earned victory Tuesday evening over the Newbury Nighthawks, 79-72, at Foley Gym.
The Panthers earned their third straight victory to improve their season record to 11-1 overall, while the Nighthawks drop to 2-8.
Senior Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) led the scoring for the Panthers with 22 points on a 10-of-13 shooting performance. Nwokeji received solid double-digit scoring support from four teammates, juniors Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) and Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) with 12 points each, classmate Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) with 11, and sophomore Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.) with 10.
The Nighthawks had three players in double digits. Sophomore Jeduan Langston (Boston, Mass.) led the way with 22 points (tying Nwokeji for the game-high score), while junior Kenny Ramos (Roxbury, Mass.) added 19 points, and senior Christian Sheridan contributed 15 points.
The Panthers came out of the blocks fast, opening up a 10-point lead in the opening five minutes. The Nighthawks hung over the next 10 minutes, closing the gap before taking a four-point lead with five minutes left in the half. As the half drew to a close, PSU tied the score at 34-34 before back to back lay-ups from Nwokeji and Johnson sent the Panthers to the locker room with the 38-34 lead.
The second half saw an even more explosive start from the Panthers. Limiting the Nighthawks offense from the start, the Panthers extended their lead to 21 (73-52). However, the Nighthawks would not go quietly, outscoring the Panthers 18-4 over the next four minutes, before a pair of Johnson free throws would steady the Panthers and allow them to close out the game.
The Panthers will look to continue their fine form Thursday at Green Mountain College (7:30 p.m.) while Newbury will look to regroup with a home game vs. Regis College Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
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