Alisandro leads Panthers to third straight LEC win
GORHAM, Maine – Freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) posted a monster double-double to lead Plymouth State University to an 80-70 win over the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Hill Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
Alisandro led all players with game-highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Panthers improved to 3-0 in the Little East for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
With the game tied, 59-59, and 7:28 remaining, senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) drained a triple from the right side to spark an 8-0 run and give the Panthers the lead for good.
PSU wins its third straight game to improve to 6-3 and remain unbeaten in conference play, while the Huskies fall to 3-4 and 1-2 in the Little East.
Plymouth State 80, Southern Maine 70
Plymouth State 6-3, 3-0 LEC
Southern Maine 3-4, 1-2 LEC
How it Happened:
* PSU maintained the lead, with LeRoy and junior Ryan Roggenbuck (Goffstown, N.H.) connecting to make it 23-14 midway through the first half and Roggenbuck's free throw moments later restored the double-digit lead.
* The teams went back and forth and Southern Maine used a 7-0 run to pull to within 33-31 with 3:32 left in the half, but senior Mark DiLauro (North Branford, Conn.) connected from inside to keep the Huskies at bay.
* USM sank a pair of free throws and a jumper at the buzzer by junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) pulled the Huskies even, 35-35, at the intermission.
* The hosts surged out of the break with a 7-0 run, but junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) hit from distance and Alisandro and LeRoy each hit from the floor twice as the Panthers surged back in front, 46-42, with 15:40 to play.
* The Huskies tied the game at 46-all, but PSU immediately went back in front and held a slight lead over the next seven minutes. Senior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine) knotted the game at 59-59 with a jumper with 7:28 to go, but LeRoy connected from distance right in front of the Panthers' bench to give PSU the lead for good.
* Rivera followed with a triple of his own and Alisandro's layup made it a 67-59 advantage with 4:28 remaining. USM drained a jumper but Rivera answered with his third three-pointer of the night and Alisandro scored from inside as the lead ballooned to 72-61 and Southern Maine wouldn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Inside the Numbers:
* Alisandro finished 10-of-20 from the floor for his career-high 22 points, while pulling down 14 boards, as Early finished with 17 points on 7-9 shooting, including three triples, and added four assists.
* LeRoy added 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Rivera chipped in with 13 points, five steals and four assists.
* Plymouth State dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Huskies by a 46-28 margin. PSU held a 10-2 advantage in second chance points and owned a 32-22 edge on points in the paint.
* PSU hasn't started 3-0 in Little East play since the 2004-05 season, when the Panthers won their first four league games.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought we did a good job of raising our defensive intensity," praised head coach Andrew Novick, "and that helped create some points on the offensive end."
* Plymouth State closes out the fall semester on Saturday (Dec. 8) when the Panthers welcome Eastern Connecticut State for a 3:00 p.m. Little East contest.
* The Huskies are also in league action on Saturday (Dec. 8), playing host to Rhode Island College at 3:00 p.m.
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