Rivera's hot start leads Panthers to win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) posted a game-high 28 points to lead Plymouth State University over Norwich University, 84-74, in a non-conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Rivera came out of the gates on fire, pouring in 20 first half points on 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Plymouth State built a 24 point lead through the midpoint of the second half before the Cadets mounted a furious comeback with sharp-shooting from long range. The visitors went 9-of-16 from downtown in the second half, using a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits (76-67) with just under four minutes to play.
Norwich would pull within eight on two separate occasions down the stretch, but juniors Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) and Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) were perfect from the free throw line to seal the win.
Plymouth State improves to 2-1, while the Cadets slip to 1-2.
Plymouth State 84, Norwich 74
Plymouth State 2-1
How it Happened:
* The first half was a shooting clinic from distance. On two separate occasions the teams traded four consecutive triples. Rivera's third long ball of the half gave the hosts a 21-13 lead after nine minutes of action.
* Rivera drained another three, his sixth of the half, and freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) pulled down a Cadets' miss and fired an outlet to sophomore Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.), who slammed it down for a 38-27 lead with three minutes left in the half.
* Sophomore Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.) sank a jumper to pull Norwich to within 42-33 at halftime.
* Alisandro took over early in the second half, scoring 10 straight points for the Panthers, but sophomore Jesse Davis (Woodinville, Wash.) and senior Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) hit from long range to keep the Cadets close within striking distance.
* PSU used a 14-0 run to build a 66-43 lead with 13 minutes to play. Freshman Bryton Early (Somersworth, N.H.) sank a pair from beyond the arc during the spurt. Moments later classmate Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) gave the Panthers their biggest lead of the game, 70-46, with just under 11 minutes to play.
* Davis connected from long range three times to spark the Norwich comeback attempt. Booth added a pair of triples as the Cadets cut the deficit down to 76-67 with 3:38 to play, but Simpson and LeRoy combined to go 6-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the win.
Inside the Numbers:
* In two home games, Rivera is averaging 25.5 points and is shooting a ridiculous 68.8% from three-point range.
* Alisandro led the Panthers with seven rebounds and added 13 points, while LeRoy chipped in with 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.
* Early finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added three rebounds.
* Haimes led the Cadets with 17 points and sank 5-of-9 from long range. Sophomore Christopher Bryant (Crestview, Fla.) posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
* Davis, junior Matt Allen (Barre, Vt.) and Booth also finished in double figures for Norwich. Davis ended with 12 on four three-pointers, while Allen (11 points) and Booth (10 points) combined to go 5-of-8 from distance.
* PSU owned a 19-8 advantage from the free throw line, though the Cadets held a 43-31 edge on the boards.
* Plymouth State turned 24 Norwich turnovers into 27 points and scored 10 fast break points.
* Plymouth State faces off against Rivier in the annual Boys and Girls Club Classic hosted by NHTI on Thursday (Nov. 15) with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
* The Cadets host Lesley on Saturday (Nov. 17) at 1:00 p.m.
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