Arsenault nets game-winner for Panthers' fourth straight win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) drained a game-winning jumper from the left baseline with less than seven seconds remaining to give the Plymouth State University men's basketball team a hard-fought 72-71 win over Thomas College (Maine) at Foley Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The Panthers, who led for the first 30 minutes, found themselves down 69-62 with just over four minutes to play. A key block by senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) led to a coast-to-coast layup by junior Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.), sparking the PSU comeback. Senior Ian King (Westbrook, Maine) countered for the Terriers, making it 71-64 with 3:42 to play, but Plymouth State closed the game with eight straight points.
Preston cleaned up his own miss, then he and sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) connected from close range after a pair of Panther steals to make it 71-70 with just under a minute to play. With 9.9 seconds remaining PSU inbounded the ball under its own basket. Boulay found Arsenault, who had slipped free around a screen by Osgood, and the senior swished a step-back jumper from the corner to take the lead.
Thomas had an opportunity to win the game at the buzzer but was unable to get a shot off. Plymouth was able to overcome a phenomenal game from Thomas senior Tyheem Simon (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), who finished with a game-high 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting.
The Panthers put their four-game win streak on the line Saturday when they host the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in a Little East Conference game – the team's last game before the holiday recess.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Thurs., Dec. 8, 2016
Plymouth State 72, Thomas (Maine) 71
Plymouth State 6-2 (1-0 LEC); Thomas (Maine) 5-3 (3-0 NAC)
* Sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) … 19 points, two rebounds, two steals, two blocks
* Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) … 16 points, six rebounds, two steals, three blocks
* Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) … 10 points, four steals, three rebounds
* Simon … 32 points (12-of-18), four rebounds
* Junior Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine) … six points, seven rebounds, three steals
* Senior Ian King (Westbrook, Maine) … nine assists, nine rebounds
BY THE NUMBERS
* Plymouth State shot 49.0% (25-of-51) from the field while connecting on 6-of-14 (42.9%) from beyond the arc.
* Thomas finished 26-of-62 (41.9%) overall, and 9-of-25 (36.0%) from long range.
* The Terriers owned the advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Panthers 36-28.
* Plymouth State used its strong depth to its advantage, outscoring the Thomas reserves 34-16.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* Boulay and Osgood both connected from downtown in the opening minutes as Plymouth State built a quick 8-2 lead.
* The Terriers answered with a 9-2 run, taking an 11-10 lead after a layup from sophomore Willie Grant (Philadelphia, Pa.).
* PSU used a 13-3 run, capped by a lay-in from junior Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) to pull ahead 23-14 midway through the half.
* Osgood slammed home a baseline dunk to push the Plymouth State lead to double-digits, 27-17, with 7:15 left.
* A three-pointer by Simon cut the Panther lead to 34-29 with four minutes to play, but Leroy scored five straight points to push the lead back to double figures.
* A free throw by Leroy capped the first half scoring, as the Panthers took a 41-31 lead into the break.
* Thomas came out firing in the second half. Simon opened the half with his third three-pointer, sparking a 12-5 Terrier run. Simon had seven during the spurt, which cut the deficit to 46-43 just 3:22 into the second half.
* The Terriers used another extended run, this time 8-0, to take their first lead of the second half, 55-53, with 9:52 left to play.
* Freshman Nathan Hale (Nashua, N.H.) stopped the run with a triple for the Panthers, but Thomas answered with a 9-2 spurt, capped by a triple from senior Jordan Derosby (Waterville, Maine), to pull ahead 64-58 with just over six minutes remaining.
* Osgood was fouled on a tip-in and sank the free throw to cut the margin to 61-64, but freshman Matt Allen (Barre, Vt.) connected from long range and a pair of free throws from Simon pushed the Thomas lead back to eight, 69-61.
* Moments later Preston's block changed the momentum for the home team, leading to the game-winning 10-2 run.
* The Panthers wrap up the fall semester with an LEC match-up against UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
* Thomas is off until Thursday, Dec. 29 (7:00 p.m.), when the Terriers square off against Lehman College on the first day of the Lehman Holiday Tournament.
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