Leroy top-scorer as Panthers coast to non-conference win
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Plymouth State University men's basketball team used an 18-8 run over the final ten minutes of the first half to pull away from Elms College, then cruised in the second half to earn a 77-54 non-conference win on Thursday evening.
The Panthers have won two straight to improve to 4-3, while the Blazers remain winless at 0-8.
The teams exchanged baskets for the first six minutes of the game. With the score tied at nine apiece, senior Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) gave PSU the lead with back-to-back layups. Elms kept the score close until the 10:00 mark. Sophomore Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) put the Panthers up 18-15 with a layup, then junior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) drained a pair of 15-footers to extend the lead to seven. PSU capped the first half surge with a 12-footer from junior Chase Soares (Falmouth, Mass.) to head into halftime with a 34-23 lead.
PSU opened up the second half by scoring 15 of the first 19 points to put the game out of reach. Leroy contributed nine of his game-high 26 points during the spurt as the lead extended to 49-27. The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes until an Osgood dunk gave Plymouth its biggest lead of the game, 24 points, with the score 66-42.
The Panthers finished 30-of-65 (46.2%) from the floor, while limiting Elms to 23-of-67 (34.3%). PSU nailed ten three-pointers (37.0%) and held a slight advantage on the boards, 43-41.
Leroy went over 20 points for the fourth time this season, with Beck recording his second double-double of the year on 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Osgood contributed 11 points and seven rebounds, and junior Liam Densmore (Portland, Maine) added 11 points while connecting on 3-of-7 from beyond the arc in 17 minutes off the bench.
PSU will head to Willimantic, Conn. on Saturday for a game against Little East Conference preseason favorite Eastern Connecticut State University. The Warriors (7-1), currently #20 in the latest D3hoops.com poll, dropped their first game of the year, 75-70, to WPI on Thursday night. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.
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