Leroy drops 25 as Panthers hold off pesky Eagles
POULTNEY, Vt. – Despite giving up a 15-4 run over the game's final four minutes the Plymouth State University men's basketball team held off a pesky Green Mountain College squad for a 63-60 non-conference win at the Eagle Dome.
PSU looked well on its way to victory, holding a 59-45 lead after a layup from junior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) with 4:09 left to play, but the host Eagles scored seven straight points in less than a minute to cut the deficit to 59-52.
After senior Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) hit one of two from the free throw line the two teams went scoreless for the next 1:36. Beck sank another from the charity stripe to up the Panthers' lead to 61-52 with 1:21 remaining.
The teams traded opportunities at the line, with GMC connecting on four straight while the Panthers alternated makes with misses and the deficit was cut to 62-56 with just 40 seconds to play. Green Mountain used a swarming trap defense to force a PSU turnover and the resulting layup by junior Alex Sanchez (San Fernando Valley, Calif.) made it a four point game with 15 ticks on the clock.
Leroy connected on one of two free throws, but freshman Tyrell Johnson (Bronx, N.Y.) went coast-to-coast for a layup while drawing a foul to make it 63-60. The rookie was too strong from the stripe, but after the Panthers rebounded a PSU turnover led to an opportunity for the Eagles to even the game, but the left corner three-pointer was off the mark.
Plymouth had an opportunity to ice the game from the stripe with 2.6 seconds to go, but missed both giving Green Mountain one last chance. The Panthers applied strong defensive pressure on the inbounds play, then committed a foul to put freshman Christian Przybyla (Clifton, N.J.) on the line with 1.1 seconds to play. Przybyla missed the front end, then intentionally missed the second but PSU controlled the rebound and the clock expired.
The Panthers had run out to a 33-22 lead at halftime with Leroy pouring in 17 points over the first 20 minutes. PSU opened the second half with a quick 7-0 spurt to take its biggest lead of the game, 40-22, just 90 seconds into the half.
Leroy finished with a game-high 25 points and added four rebounds, while Osgood added 15 points (6-of-10) and six rebounds. Junior Liam Densmore (Portland, Maine) chipped in with eight points and four assists off the bench, while Beck had a solid game with seven points and five rebounds.
The Panthers (5-4) wrap up the fall semester with a home game against Johnson State College on Saturday with game time set for 3:00 p.m. Green Mountain finishes the 2017 portion of their schedule with a 4-6 mark.
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