Panthers open 2017 with impressive non-conference win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) posted a double-double while the Plymouth State University men's basketball team set a season-high for points scored as the Panthers knocked off Elms College, 89-70, in a non-conference game played at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Preston paced PSU with team-highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds, while senior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) added 14 points without a miss. Elms was led by the senior duo of Symon Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Conny Ihearahu (Largo, Md.), who combined for 41 points.
The Blazers were able to keep things close through the first half until a late 10-4 run by PSU gave the hosts a 44-34 lead at the break. PSU opened the second half with a 15-3 run to take control and the Panthers cruised from there.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Tues., Jan. 3, 2017
Plymouth State 89, Elms 70
Plymouth State 7-3 (1-1 LEC); Elms 1-8 (1-2 NECC)
* Preston … team-high 22 points (9-of-12), game-high 15 rebounds, two steals, two blocks
* Arsenault … 14 points (6-of-6)
* Sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) … 12 points (6-of-9), five rebounds, two steals, one block
* Junior Max Coleman (Londonderry, N.H.) … nine points (4-of-7), two rebounds, one assist in nine minutes
* Smith … game-high 26 points (10-of-19), four rebounds, three assists
* Ihearahu … 15 points, five rebounds, four blocks, two assists, two steals
* Freshman DeAngelo Cousar (Bowie, Md.) … nine points, three rebounds, three steals
BY THE NUMBERS
* Plymouth State finished the game shooting at a 56.5% clip (39-of-69) and drained 7-of-18 (38.9%) from downtown. The Blazers ended up 24-of-59 (40.7%) from the field and 8-of-19 (42.1%) from beyond the arc.
* PSU dominated on the interior, outrebounding Elms 52-22 and outscoring the Blazers 50-18 in the paint.
* The Panthers' rebounding edge led to a 21-6 advantage in second chance points.
* Plymouth State relied on its depth getting 58 points from its bench, while Elms' reserves accounted for 13 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* The Blazers took their first lead of the game when Smith hit a deep triple from the right wing to pull ahead 10-9 after the first five minutes.
* PSU answered with an 8-0 run to take a 17-10 lead behind the good defensive play of Osgood. His blocked shot block led to a Preston layup, then Osgood came up with steals on consecutive possessions, each leading to easy baskets.
* Elms came right back, using a 9-4 run to cut the deficit to 21-19 with 10:55 in the half. Senior Trifon Bish (St. Catherine, Jamaica) connected from beyond the arc, then sank a layup during the spurt.
* Plymouth closed the half with a 10-4 run over the final four minutes to take a 44-34 lead into the break.
* Some precision passing helped the Panthers pull away to start the second half. PSU used a 15-3 run to push the lead to 22 points (59-37), with crisp ball movement leading to easy layups or wide-open jumpers.
* Senior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) made a highlight play when he found Osgood under the hoop with a no-look pass from the top of the key for an easy lay-in.
* The Panthers maintained a 25-point lead, while getting regular playing time and contributions from their reserves.
* Smith and Ihearahu tried to bring Elms back, as the duo accounted for 25 of the Blazers' 36 second half points, but the deficit was too great.
* PSU is back at home on Thursday (Jan. 5) for another non-conference game. The Panthers will tip-off against Green Mountain College at 7:00 p.m.
* The Blazers are also back in action on Thursday (Jan. 5), when they play host to Rhode Island College with game-time slated for 7:00 p.m.
-- 30 --