Leroy leads Panthers with team-high 17 points
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team scored the first nine points of the game, leading from start to finish to remain undefeated in the Little East Conference (LEC) with a 77-59 victory over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) had 17 points for the Panthers. Leroy connected on all five of his attempts (including four three-pointers) in the first half, but was slowed after the intermission. Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) added 11 points and seven rebounds, and classmate Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with ten points.
PSU fell behind by double-figures over the first six minutes, but twice cut the deficit to just two points in the later stages of the first half. After a Preson layup made it 29-27 with 3:18 left in the half, the Warriors answered with 7-2 run to lead 36-29 at the break. Plymouth State got as close as six points (48-42) after a bucket from junior Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.), but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Sat., Jan. 7, 2017
Plymouth State 59, Eastern Connecticut 77
Plymouth State 7-5 (1-2 LEC); Eastern Connecticut 9-5 (3-0 LEC)
* Leroy … team-high 17 points (6-of-9, 4-of-6 three-pointers), two assists
* Preston … 11 points, seven rebounds
* Johnson … 10 points, two rebounds, three steals
* Boulay … eight points
* Junior Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) … game-high 20 points, three rebounds, three assists
* Senior Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) … 13 points, 16 rebounds
* Junior Kendall Marquez (Willimantic, Conn.) … 12 points, three rebounds
* Freshman Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Mass.) … 11 points, five rebounds
BY THE NUMBERS
* Plymouth State finished 21-of-56 (37.5%) while the Warriors were 24-of-47 (51.1%).
* Eastern outrebounded Plymouth by a 43-28 margin and took more than twice as many free throws as the Panthers (21-of-42, compared to 8-of-20).
HOW IT HAPPENED
* The Warriors jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the game's first 4:26, then pushed the margin to double figures (13-3) a minute later.
* Trailing 16-6, Leroy scored eight straight points for the Panthers, including a pair of three-pointers, to make it 18-14 midway through the half.
* Leroy connected from beyond the arc on back-to-back possessions to make it 27-25 with just under four minutes left in the opening half.
* After the teams traded baskets, the Warriors used a 7-2 run in the final minutes to move out to a seven-point, 36-29 lead at the break.
* Plymouth remained within striking distance throughout most of the second half. A three-pointer from Johnson made it 45-39 after the first five minutes, but Brown answered for ECSU with a long-ball of his own.
* Another triple from Johnson cut the PSU deficit to 57-49 with 7:29 to play, but the Warriors responded with a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach.
* PSU is back at home on Wednesday (Jan. 11) against UMass Boston in an LEC game. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
* Eastern Connecticut is also in LEC action Wednesday. The Warriors host UMass Dartmouth at 7:30 p.m.
**With contributions from Eastern Connecticut Sports Information**
-- 30 --