Bonney-Liles' clutch triple leads Panthers to first LEC win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Sam Bonney-Liles (Hudson, N.H.) sank a three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining and Plymouth State University went 4-for-4 at the charity stripe to topple Western Connecticut State University, 66-63, in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers have won three straight games to improve to 9-12 and pick up their first LEC win to move to 1-9 in league play. Western Connecticut falls to 12-9 and 7-3 in conference action.
Plymouth State played from behind for much of the second half and the Panthers trailed 60-55 after a layup from Colonials' junior Aaron Samuel (Stratford, Conn.) with 4:15 to play. Sophomore Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) connected from long range for PSU, though, and junior Chase Soares (Falmouth, Mass.) sank a free throw to cut the margin to 60-59 with 2:39 left.
On the next PSU possession, Soares dished to a cutting Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) under the basket, who drew the attention of four Colonial defenders. Osgood kicked the ball out to Bonney-Liles, who was all alone in the corner, and the rookie calmly swished a three in front of the Panther bench to put PSU in front, 62-60, with 1:53 remaining. Soares drained two free throws on the next possession, but junior Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, Conn.) sank a three from the left wing to cut the lead to 64-63.
Following a Western Connecticut foul, Leroy cooly sank a pair from the charity stripe. The Colonials had two chances at a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds, but both were off the mark.
Osgood led the way for PSU, finishing with 22 points (8-of-14) and 15 rebounds to notch his third double-double of the season. He added four assists. Leroy and Bonney-Liles both finished with 16 points and five boards, with Bonney-Liles sinking 4-of-8 from distance. Senior Collin Sullivan (Plymouth, N.H.) played another gritty game totaling five steals, three assists and a pair of rebounds. The PSU starting five all played at least 34 minutes.
Western Connecticut was led by Rowe's 18 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore Fenton Bradley, Jr. (Mansfield, Conn.) was the only other Colonial with double-figures, totaling 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Junior Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, Conn.) pulled down a team-high nine rebounds to go along with four steals.
PSU travels to the University of Southern Maine for another LEC contest on Wednesday. Game-time is set for 7:30 p.m. The Colonials are also in action Wednesday night, playing host to LEC foe Rhode Island College at 7:30 p.m.
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