Preston scores 1,000th career point as Panthers move into tie for fourth
BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) scored a game-high 25 points, including career point 1,000, as the Plymouth State University men's basketball team downed the University of Massachusetts Boston by a 67-52 score in a key Little East Conference (LEC) match-up. With the win PSU moves into a tie with the Beacons for fourth place in the league with just two regular season contests remaining. The top four teams in the league will host a first-round playoff game on February 21st.
Preston, who entered the game with 990 career points, became the 30th player in Plymouth State men's basketball history to reach the 1,000-career point plateau, joining classmate Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) who reached the mark earlier this season. The big man, who leads the LEC in field goal percentage, finished 10-of-15 from the field and added eight rebounds for good measure.
The Panthers used a 16-2 run to break the game open in the first half, and then closed the contest on a 15-7 run to spoil Senior Day for the six Beacons seniors.
Clark Athletic Center, Boston, Mass. – Sat., Feb. 11, 2017
Plymouth State 67, UMass Boston 52
Plymouth State 11-11 (5-7 LEC); UMass Boston 12-11 (5-7 LEC)
* Preston … game-high 25 points (10-of-15), eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks
* Senior Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.) … 16 points (9-of-10 FT), four rebounds, two assists
* Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) … nine points, three rebounds
* Arsenault … eight points, six rebounds
* Sophomore Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) … six points, four rebounds, four steals, two assists
BY THE NUMBERS
* Plymouth State turned 24 Beacons turnovers into 21 points.
* UMass Boston shot 18-of-55 (32.7%) from the field and just 3-of-17 (17.6%) from distance. Plymouth State knocked down 23-of-53 shots (43.4%) and 25% (4-of-16) of their looks from beyond the arc.
* With the win, Plymouth State avenged an earlier 94-90, double-overtime loss to the Beacons, and improved to 49-21 all-time against UMass Boston.
|Preston throws down two of his 1,015 career points|
HOW IT HAPPENED
* UMass Boston jumped out to a 15-8 lead in the opening 10 minutes thanks to seven points from senior Careen Kirskey (Dorchester, Mass.).
* Plymouth State responded with a big surge, as they scored 16 of the next 18 points to take control for good. Preston would pour in seven of his own and Johnson added a layup and a three-pointer to make it 24-17 with 4:36 to play in the half.
* Preston surpassed the personal milestone with a patented reverse layup with 2:49 remaining in the half.
* A late Johnson jumper just before the halftime buzzer gave Plymouth State a 32-25 advantage at the break.
* UMass Boston came out firing after the break and cut the deficit to one at 32-31 and 34-33 in the opening five minutes of play.
* The Beacons kept the game at a one or two possession game until the Panther defense held the hosts to just four points over a seven minute stretch, giving PSU a 52-43 lead with less than five minutes to play.
* UMB was able to cut the margin to seven, 54-47, with just over three minutes remaining, but the Panthers closed the game on a 13-5 run to earn the victory.
* Plymouth's final 11 points all came from the charity stripe, with Johnson hitting all eight of his attempts.
* The Panthers wrap up the regular season with a pair of home LEC contests next week. PSU will host Southern Maine on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.), before celebrating Senior Day next Saturday (Feb. 18) with a 3:00 p.m. game against Western Connecticut.
* UMass Boston finishes the year with two tough road conference games. The Beacons face UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) and Eastern Connecticut next Saturday (3:00 p.m.). UMD and ECSU are currently tied for the league lead, along with Keene State.
**With contributions from UMass Boston Sports Information**
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