PSU Men’s Basketball tripped up by UMass-Dartmouth

PSU Men’s Basketball tripped up by UMass-Dartmouth

Preston's big game not enough as Panthers fall

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) posted a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth past Plymouth State University, 64-59, in a back-and-forth Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium.

            Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) had a solid all-around game for the Panthers.  The 6'6" forward led all scorers with a game-high 22 points, while adding eight rebounds, three blocks, three steals, two assists and a trio of thunderous dunks.

            PSU opened the second half trailing 36-31 but a Preston steal led to a two-on-one break and senior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) fed Preston for his third dunk of the game to knot the score at 40-40 with 13:01 left to play.  The two teams were tied at 42, 44, 46 and 48 until the Corsairs used a 6-0 run to pull ahead 54-48 with four minutes to play.  The Panthers would get as close as four points, 58-54, after a three-pointer from senior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.), but UMD would finish a perfect six-of-six from the free throw line in the final minute to ice the victory.

            The Corsairs put a halt to Plymouth State's four-game winning streak and improve to 6-3 (2-0 LEC), while PSU closes the 2016 portion of its schedule with a 6-3 overall mark (1-1 LEC).


  Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Sat., Dec. 10, 2016

  Plymouth State 59, UMass-Dartmouth 64


  Plymouth State 6-3 (1-1 LEC); UMass-Dartmouth 6-3 (2-0 LEC)


  * Preston … game-high 22 points (8-of-14), eight rebounds, three steals, three blocks, two assists

  * Arsenault … 13 points, two rebounds

  * Clarke … five points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals

  * Junior Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) … two points, team-high nine rebounds


  * Portelance … 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists

  * Senior Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.) … 12 points, two rebounds, two assists

  * Junior Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) … 10 points (4-of-5), two rebounds

  * Junior Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) … six points, seven rebounds

  * Senior Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) … six points, six rebounds


  * Plymouth State shot 35.9% (23-of-64) from the field while connecting on 5-of-16 (31.3%) from beyond the arc, while the Corsairs were 22-of-58 (37.9%) from the floor and 4-of-12 (33.3%) from long range.

  * UMass-Dartmouth held a 44-38 advantage on the boards.

  * The Panther defense forced 14 UMD turnovers, leading to 20 PSU points.

  * Plymouth State got 48 points from its bench, while the Corsair reserves scored 18.


First Half:

  * The Corsairs got off to a good start, pulling ahead 8-0 over the game's first four minutes behind three-pointers from Robinson and Bouchard.

  * PSU got on the board a minute later when senior Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) drained a long-ball, but Bouchard connected from deep again to make it 11-3.

  * Preston came up with a steal and broke away for his first dunk to cut the lead to 13-7 with 13:25 left in the half.  Moments later a Clarke steal led to another Preston dunk.

  * Robinson put the visitors up 27-16 with a deep three and moments later a free throw from Portelance would give UMD its largest lead of the game (12 points) at 30-18 with 5:43 to play in the half.

  * PSU used a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to 34-31, but a layup from sophomore Atakan Akcam (Hoosac Falls, N.Y.) left the Corsairs with a 36-31 lead at the half.

Second Half:

  * Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) drained a three-pointer in Plymouth's first possession of the second half to cut the margin to 36-34.

  * The Panthers kept it close, then used a 6-0 burst to tie the game at 40-40 after Preston's monster dunk.

  * UMD would pull ahead by two a number of times, but the Panthers would strike back to retie the score until a 6-0 Corsair's run would put the guests up 64-48 with four minutes to play.

  * A layup from Akcam pushed the UMD lead to nine, 58-49, with 3:15 left to play.

  * Arsenault connected from behind the arc to cut the margin to 58-54 with 1:11 to play but the Corsairs finished a perfect six-of-six from the charity stripe to hold on for the key LEC win.


  * PSU will enjoy some down time for finals and the holidays before getting back on the court for a home, non-conference game against Elms College on Tuesday (Jan. 3).  Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

  * The Corsairs have three games remaining on the 2016 portion of their schedule.  Next up is a home game against Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday (Dec. 13), with game time set for 7:00 p.m.


-- 30 --