LeRoy paces Panthers with 21 points
LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – Junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) scored a team-high 21 points, but Northern Vermont University-Lyndon rallied from a nine-point first half deficit to top Plymouth State University, 93-86, in a non-conference men's basketball game at George W. Stannard Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers used a 13-0 run to build a 28-19 lead at the midpoint of the first half, but NVU-Lyndon chipped away and pulled ahead by a point with less than two minutes. Plymouth State went back in front, 44-41, following a free throw from freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.), but senior Kevin Love (Bristol, Conn.) pulled the hosts to within 44-43 with his layup before the break.
The teams went back and forth in the second half, with the Hornets taking a 62-55 lead with 12:32 to go. Plymouth answered with eight straight points, but a Lyndon three-pointer put the hosts ahead for good. LeRoy pulled the Panthers to within 84-82 with 3:34 to play, but that was as close as they would get.
Plymouth State moves to 3-2 while the Hornets even their record at 2-2.
Plymouth State 86, NVU-Lyndon 93
Plymouth State 3-2
How it Happened:
* Both teams were clicking on offense in the early going. With Plymouth holding an early 7-6 lead, the Hornets' Ricky Shuford (Prattville, Ala.) drained a three-pointer to ignite a 9-3 run and give the Hornets a 15-10 advantage. Plymouth battled back to tie things at 19-19 on a layup from freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) with 11:54 to go in the opening half. The Panthers found themselves in the middle of a 13-0 run, culminating with a jumper from freshman Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) that put Plymouth in front, 28-19, at the 10:22 mark.
* A pair of baskets from Love broke the run as Lyndon began to chip away at the lead. Damon Denteh (Jamaica, N.Y.) came up with a steal and found Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, Mass.) for a layup as the hosts regained the lead, 39-38, with 1:55 left in the half. Freshman Manny Sanchez (Lawrence, Mass.) put PSU back in front and Plymouth was able to hold on for a 44-43 advantage at halftime.
* Shuford connected on a three on the first possession of the second half to put the Hornets back in front, but LeRoy answered for the Panthers. Layups by Shuford and Love gave the lead back to Lyndon, but back-to-back buckets from LeRoy put PSU in front as the teams went back and forth. Lyndon used a 12-4 run to open up some breathing room at 62-55 with 12:32 to go.
* Plymouth responded with eight straight points, topped by LeRoy's three, to put the Panthers back in front. Lyndon's Corey Frost (Hamden, Conn.) answered with a three on the next possession and the Hornets would not trail again.
* LeRoy's put back and free throw brought Plymouth back within two at 84-82 with 3:34 to go, but a pair of Gabriel free throws extended the lead back to four. Following a Frost free throw, junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) nailed a pull up jumper to bring PSU to within 87-84 with 56 seconds remaining. Two Love free throws made it a five point game and the Hornets got a defensive stop on the ensuing PSU possession. Freshman Sopie Pek (Easthampton, Mass.) came up with a steal and found Alisandro for an easy layup to cut it back to three with ten seconds to go, but the Hornets got a free throw and, after missing the second, got a tip-in to put the game out of reach.
Inside the Numbers:
* LeRoy led the Panthers with 21 points, four assists and three rebounds, while Simpson added 20 points, nine assists and five boards.
* Alisandro added 18 points and six rebounds as Rivera chipped in with 12 points, four steals and four assists.
* Lyndon's Love led all players with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
* The Hornets held a 40-27 advantage on the glass, while Plymouth State outscored the hosts 16-8 in fast break points.
* The game featured six ties and 34 lead changes.
* Lyndon broke a string of five straight losses to PSU.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought our team fought hard, but struggled at the end to convert free throws and other advantage situations into points," said head coach Andrew Novick. "NVU-Lyndon used their size and strength well at the end of the game."
* Plymouth State travels to in-state rival Colby-Sawyer for a non-conference game on Tuesday (Nov. 20) with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
* The Hornets face Union College in the opening game of the Sig Makofski Invitational Tournament on Saturday (Nov. 24).
**With contributions from NVU-Lyndon Sports Information**
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