Preston, Osgood lead Panthers in defeat
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Thomas Brown (Charlottesville, Va.) led all scorers with a game-high 20 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead Green Mountain College past Plymouth State University, 64-59, in non-conference men's basketball action from Foley Gymnasium on Thursday night.
Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) had another solid game, leading the Panthers with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) added 12 points, five rebounds and four blocks in the setback.
It was a tale of two halves, as the Eagles shot just 26.9% (7-of-26) from the field in the first half while the PSU offense finished the opening 20 minutes shooting 14-of-30 (46.7%) to take a 30-22 lead into the break. GMC, led by Brown, came back strong in the second half taking the lead for the first time with just over six minutes remaining.
The Panthers took a 57-55 lead after a three-pointer from junior Collin Sullivan (Plymouth, N.H.) with 2:25 remaining, but Green Mountain scored nine of the final 11 points to close the game.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Thurs., Jan. 5, 2017
Plymouth State 59, Green Mountain 64
Plymouth State 7-4 (1-1 LEC); Green Mountain 5-4 (2-3 NAC)
* Preston … team-high 18 points (8-of-13), four rebounds, four blocks, two assists
* Osgood … 12 points, five rebounds, four blocks, two steals
* Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) … eight points, five rebounds
* Senior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) … five points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals
* Smith … game-high 20 points, three rebounds, three steals, two assists
* Sophomore Pierce Weatherspoon (Wethersfield, Conn.) … 13 points, five rebounds
* Senior Patrick Rittmon (Los Angeles, Calif.) … 11 points, six rebounds
* Senior Javier Lugris (Madrid, Spain) … seven points, six rebounds, four steals
BY THE NUMBERS
* Plymouth State finished the game 26-of-60 (43.3%) and the Eagles ended up 21-of-58 (36.2%) after the rough first half.
* Green Mountain owned a significant advantage from the charity stripe. GMC connected on 16-of-22 free throws, while the Panthers had just six attempts.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* Both teams struggled to find their shots in the early going, but PSU pulled ahead 11-5 when a steal by Leroy led to a Preston layup 5:36 into the game.
* A free throw from Brown pulled the Eagles to within 13-12 at the midpoint of the first half, but Leroy answered with a triple to put PSU up 16-12.
* Green Mountain hung around, never letting its deficit reach more than seven, until senior Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) found Preston along the baseline for a thunderous dunk to give the Panthers a 28-20 lead with 1:18 left in the half.
* Lugris connected on a pair of free throws for the Eagles, then Preston closed the scoring for the half with an inside bucket to make it a 30-22 game at the break.
* GMC opened the second half with an 8-2 run, with Brown accounting for five points, to cut the margin to 32-30 after three minutes.
* Plymouth pulled back ahead by seven, 43-36, when Preston hit on one-of-two free throws with 12:31 to play.
* The Eagles answered with seven straight points, capped by a three-pointer from senior Darius Wynn (Charlottesville, Va.), to knot the score at 43-43 with 10:51 remaining.
* The two teams traded the lead over the next eight-plus minutes, leading to Sullivan's three-pointer for the Panthers.
* Brown followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to give the visitors a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
* The Panthers are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Eastern Connecticut State University for a key Little East Conference (LEC) match-up. ECSU is coming off an impressive 87-75 win over #3 Amherst College (D3hoops.com). Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.
* The Eagles will travel to Castleton University for a NAC battle on Saturday with tip-off slated for 1:00 p.m.