Preston, Leroy lead Panthers in LEC loss
DANBURY, Conn. – Western Connecticut State University had five players finish in double-figures as the Colonials ran past the Plymouth State University men's basketball team, 98-81, in a Little East Conference (LEC) game Saturday at Feldman Arena.
Plymouth State was led by senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.), who continued his strong play of late, posting team-highs of 24 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) added 18 points, including three three-pointers, while sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points.
In a close first half WCSU held a 44-38 lead with less than 10 seconds on the clock, but sophomore Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, Conn.) was fouled while connecting from beyond the arc and then classmate Jauch Green (Hartford, Conn.) sank a triple at the buzzer following a Panther turnover to make it 51-38 at halftime.
WCSU pushed the lead to 25 points, 67-42, over the first five minutes of the second half. A Preston baseline dunk cut the Western advantage to 15, 88-73, with 4:04 to play, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Feldman Arena, Danbury, Conn. – Sat., Jan. 14, 2017
Plymouth State 81, Western Connecticut 98
Plymouth State 7-7 (1-4 LEC); Western Connecticut 10-4 (2-3 LEC)
* Preston … team-high 24 points (8-of-14), game-high nine rebounds in 27 minutes
* Leroy … 18 points, four rebounds
* Osgood … 10 points, three rebounds
* Senior Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) … eight points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals
BY THE NUMBERS
* PSU finished 28-of-66 (42.4%) from the floor, but the Colonials were an impressive 33-of-61 (54.1%).
* Both teams fired 17 triples, with the Panthers connecting on four attempts and WCSU making nine.
* The Plymouth State bench outscored its counterparts by a 50-32 margin.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* Leroy opened the game connecting on three of his first four attempts. His jumper put PSU ahead 11-7 through the game's first four-plus minutes.
* Junior Brian Boulay (Keene, N.H.) connected from long range to put the Panthers up 18-17 after eight minutes.
* WCSU pulled ahead over the next eight minutes, but Preston helped keep the game close when his layup made it 36-33 with four minutes to play.
* The Colonials led 42-36 going into the final minute of the half, but outscored PSU 9-2 over the final 45 seconds to take a 51-38 lead into the break.
* The teams traded baskets over the first two minutes of the second half, with Preston getting to the rim to cut the deficit to 54-42.
* Western Connecticut scored 13 straight points to take control, leading 67-42 with 15:40 left to play.
* The Colonials led 86-65 with 6:11 remaining, when the Panthers used an 8-2 run, capped by Preston's dunk, to make it a 15-point margin (88-73) with just over four minutes to go.
* That was as close as PSU would come, though, as Western regained control to finish off the 98-81 conference win.
* Plymouth State will host in-state and LEC rival Keene State College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
* WCSU will also play an in-state conference rival on Wednesday when the Colonials host Eastern Connecticut State University at 7:30 p.m.
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