Sharp shooting leads Panthers to LEC victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A trio of Panthers combined for 63 points while shooting an impressive 23-of-33 (69.7%) from the floor to lead Plymouth State University to an 83-79 win over Eastern Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) torched the Warriors defense for 24 points on nine-of-ten shooting, while sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) added 22 points (8-of-12) and senior Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) chipped in with 17 to help PSU even the season series with ECSU. The Panthers shot a season-best 57.4% from the field (31-of-54).
Eastern Connecticut took control early pulling ahead 12-4 after the game's first three minutes. The Panthers used a 16-0 run to pull in front 27-17 with less than nine minutes left in the opening half. A late ECSU run cut the PSU advantage to 41-37 heading into the intermission.
The Warriors were able to pull in front, 52-47, after the first four minutes of the second half, but Plymouth State would quickly chip away and regain the lead for good. ECSU was able to cut the deficit to 81-79 with less than a minute to play, but senior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) came up with a key steal and Osgood sank two clutch free throws to wrap up the victory.
Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Sat., Feb. 4, 2017
Plymouth State 83, Eastern Connecticut 79
Plymouth State 10-10 (4-6 LEC); Eastern Connecticut 14-7 (8-2 LEC)
* Preston … game-high 24 points (9-of-10), seven rebounds, two blocks, two steals in 27 minutes
* Osgood … 22 points (8-of-12), five rebounds
* Arsenault … 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals
* Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) … 12 points, four rebounds
BY THE NUMBERS
* PSU was a season best 31-of-54 (57.4%) from the field, while also draining 18-of-22 free throws (81.8%).
* The Warriors ended the game 29-of-56 (51.8%) from the floor.
* Plymouth State owned a slight 27-25 advantage on the glass, but the Panther bench outscored its counterparts by a 43-16 margin.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* ECSU jumped out to a 12-4 lead after three minutes as junior Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) sank a pair of three-pointers to set an early tone.
* Plymouth State trailed 17-11 after a Brown jumper with 14:24 left in the half.
* Arsenault connected from beyond the arc to spark PSU to a 16-0 run. The senior completed an old-fashioned three-point play before draining another trifecta to put the Panthers in front. Clarke capped the spurt with a layup.
* A jumper by junior Max Coleman (Londonderry, N.H.) gave the Panthers their biggest lead, 37-22, with 4:43 remaining before halftime.
* The Warriors closed the half with a 15-4 run to make it a 41-37 margin at the break.
* Senior Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) put the visitors back in front with a layup in the opening minutes of the second half. Moments later another Warriors basket increased the ECSU lead to 52-47.
* PSU regained control thanks to three interior buckets by Preston in a span of less than 40 seconds.
* The Panthers maintained a slight advantage, ultimately pushing the lead to as many as seven, 71-64, after a jumper from Osgood with just over seven minutes to play.
* Eastern Connecticut would whittle the lead back down to two a number of times, but the Panthers wouldn't allow them to get any closer.
* A layup from freshman Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Mass.) cut the margin to 81-79 with 44 seconds to play, but Clarke came up with a huge steal and Osgood iced the win from the charity stripe.
* PSU will face a tough week with three road games in a four day span. Up first is LEC-rival Keene State College on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.), before a Thursday make-up game against Newbury College to be played at Hellenic College.
* The Warriors will host Western Connecticut State in an LEC contest on Wednesday with game time slated for 7:30 p.m.
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