LeRoy reaches 1,000-career point plateau in victory
CASTLETON, Vt. – Junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) poured in a team-high 23 points to become the 31st player in Plymouth State University men's basketball history to reach 1,000 career points as the Panthers cruised past Castleton University, 87-76, in a Little East Conference game at Glenbrook Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
LeRoy entered the game with 977 career points and reached the milestone with a driving layup with two minutes remaining. Running an isolation play on the right side, he made a move around the Castleton defender and finished with a floater in traffic to add his name to the elite list of top-scorers in program history.
PSU came out on fire, shooting nearly 60% from the floor in the first half, including six three-pointers, to build a 45-29 advantage at halftime. Castleton rallied in the second half, using a 23-10 run over the first eight minutes to cut into the advantage. Junior Casey Belade (Shelton, Conn.) capped the surge with a three-pointer to pull the Spartans to within 55-52 with 12:07 remaining, but the Panthers answered with a 9-2 spurt to restore the double-digit advantage.
Plymouth State improves to 4-3 and 1-0 in the Little East, while the Spartans fall to 3-3 and 0-1 in league play.
Plymouth State 87, Castleton 76
Plymouth State 4-3, 1-0 LEC
Castleton 3-3, 0-1 LEC
How it Happened:
* Junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) and LeRoy drained threes in the early going, but the Spartans held a 13-8 lead after the first five minutes.
* Junior Ryan Roggenbuck (Goffstown, N.H.) connected from inside and drew a foul, then made good on his attempt from the charity stripe, and moments later freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) came up with a steal and fast-break bucket to give PSU a 16-15 lead.
* Freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) drained a three-pointer from the left corner as part of a 19-5 run for the Panthers. After a Spartans' basket, Rivera drove baseline and flipped a behind-the-back pass to Alisandro for the finish to give Plymouth State a 37-24 lead with 4:24 left in the half.
* LeRoy buried a triple from the left sideline a minute later and freshman Manny Sanchez (Lawrence, Mass.) hit a jumper as the lead ballooned to a game-high 18 points, 42-24, two minutes later.
* Sophomore Richard Walker (Swanton, Vt.) came up with a steal for the Spartans, hitting classmate Eric Shaw (Sutter Creek, Calif.) for a breakaway bucket, but Sanchez answered from distance to give PSU a 45-29 advantage at the half.
* Senior Tank Roberson (Pittsfield, Mass.) sparked the Castleton rally to open the second half, scoring 12 points in the 23-10 surge to cut the lead down to three points. Sophomore Michael Morgan (Wallingford, Vt.) hit a pair of big three pointers in the run, and Belade's triple made it a 55-52 game with 12:07 to play.
* Freshman Bryton Early (Somersworth, N.H.) quickly answered for the Panthers, starting an 8-1 run to restore a double-digit lead.
* Roberson would sink a jumper to cut the Spartans' margin to 64-55 with 8:22 to go, but LeRoy connected from beyond the arc and the Panthers were able to coast to the win from there.
Inside the Numbers:
* LeRoy became the 31st player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, and the 29th player to accomplish the feat while entirely with the Panthers. He now sits in 31st place on the all-time scoring leaders list with exactly 1,000 points.
* LeRoy added eight rebounds and two assists to his stat line, while Simpson (14 points, three rebounds, two assists), Alisandro (14 points, two steals), Rivera (12 points, seven assists, five rebounds) and Sanchez (10 points, nine rebounds) all finished in double-figures for the Panthers.
* Roberson finished with a game-high 27 points for the Spartans, adding eight assists, while Morgan chipped in with 13 points, including three triples.
* In a game with 48 combined fouls, the Panthers shot an even 80.0% (28-of-35) from the line, while Castleton finished 16-of-21 (76.2%).
* PSU finished with a 42-33 advantage on the glass.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"Jaylen is a special player," said head coach Andrew Novick. "The team was excited that we earned a conference win on the same night that he earned his 1,000th point."
* Plymouth State travels to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Saturday (Dec. 1) for a 3:00 p.m. LEC contest.
* Castleton hosts the University of Southern Maine in another LEC tilt on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 3:00 p.m.
– 30 –