Leroy, Osgood pour in 31 points apiece; Sullivan, Beck honored
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.) and junior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) scored 31 points apiece, but Rhode Island College sank 31-of-44 free throw attempts to top Plymouth State University, 97-91, in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, spoiling the Panthers' Senior Day celebration in the process.
With the setback PSU drops to 10-15 overall (2-12 LEC), while Rhode Island moves to 8-17 and 5-9 in conference play. The Panthers will be the #8 seed for next week's LEC Tournament and will travel to top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University, currently #11 on the latest D3hoops.com national poll, while RIC earns the #6 seed and will travel to #3 seed University of Massachusetts Boston.
Leroy and Osgood were spectacular once again as they continue to be the league's best one-two punch. Osgood finished 14-of-24 from the floor and added five rebounds and five assists to his 31-point effort, while Leroy was 11-of-22 from the field and chipped in three boards, two assists and a pair of steals.
Junior Chase Soares (Falmouth, Mass.) dished out 10 assists while pulling down six rebounds and adding three steals and two blocked shots. Senior Collin Sullivan (Plymouth, N.H.) chipped in with five points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists along with his trademark tough defense before picking up his fifth foul late in the second half. The home ground gave the senior, playing in his final home game, a standing ovation as he left the court.
Senior Malcolm Smith (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) led all scorers with a game-high 36 points, including five three-pointers. Freshman Adham Floyd (Worcester, Mass.) added 22 points and 10 rebounds while also connecting five times from beyond the arc. Sophomore CJ Donaldson (Bridgeport, Conn.) contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while junior Grant Gillis (Jamestown, R.I.) ended with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The two teams played tight throughout. Freshman Sam Bonney-Liles (Hudson, N.H.) gave the hosts a 15-12 with a three-pointer after the opening five minutes. Floyd hit from distance at the midpoint of the half to put the visitors ahead 22-21. Sullivan came up with a steal, then fed Leroy on a fastbreak layup to put the home team ahead 36-30 with 4:38 left in the first half and Bonney-Liles drained his third triple of the opening half to give PSU its largest lead of the game, 41-32, with 3:15 to go.
RIC used an 11-3 run to get within 44-43, but freshman Dimmone Marshall (Roslindale, Mass.) got to the basket for a lay-in just before time expired to give PSU a three point cushion at the break.
PSU held a four-point advantage through the start of the second half until a 9-4 surge by the Anchormen gave the visitors a 58-57 lead. Floyd had eight of the nine points during the run. Then Smith came alive, scoring 19-of-21 RIC points over a seven minute stretch to push the Anchormen ahead 81-77 with 6:52 remaining.
|PSU seniors Kieran Beck (L) and Collin Sullivan (R) with their families.|
Leroy answered for the Panthers, draining a triple, a jumper and then sinking three free throws after being fouled from beyond the arc as PSU took an 85-84 lead with 4:45 to play. With the game tied at 89-apiece, Smith got to the basket and Floyd hit from downtown as RIC went back in front 94-89. Leroy swished a pair of free throws to get within 94-91, but the Anchormen scored the game's final three points, all from the charity stripe, to secure the win.
RIC held a 45-24 advantage on the glass, but it was the Panthers who outscored RIC in the paint, 34-26. The largest disparity took place from the free throw line, however, where the Anchormen went 31-of-44 while PSU sank eight of just nine attempts.
Prior to the game, Sullivan and senior Kieran Beck (Danvers, Mass.) were recognized at center court for their contributions to the Panther program over the last four years.
The first round of the Little East Tournament opens on Tuesday night. PSU travels to Eastern Connecticut, with RIC going to UMass Boston. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
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