LeRoy leads Panthers in LEC setback
BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) finished with a team-high 24 points, but the University of Massachusetts Boston shot over 60% from the field as the Beacons ran away from Plymouth State University, 86-63, in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The teams battled back and forth throughout the first half and the Panthers trailed by just two, 31-29, following LeRoy's tip-in with two minutes to play, but the UMass Boston defense forced four straight PSU turnovers to spark a 9-0 run to close out the half.
Freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) laid it in to open the second half, but the hosts responded with an 8-0 spurt and maintained a double-digit lead throughout.
Plymouth State drops its second straight league game to dip to 8-6 (4-3 LEC), as the Beacons even their record at 7-7 (2-4 LEC).
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 63, UMass Boston 86
Plymouth State (8-6, 4-3 LEC)
UMass Boston (7-7, 2-4 LEC)
How it Happened:
* The hosts took an 8-4 lead after the opening three minutes, but LeRoy converted an "and-1" opportunity and senior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.), in the lineup for the first time this season, grabbed a steal that led to a three from freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) as the Panthers went up, 10-8.
* UMass Boston went back in front, but the Panthers remained within three, and a jumper from junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) put PSU back up, 19-18, midway through the half.
* The Beacons retook the lead until Rivera's second long ball tied the game at 23-23 with 6:25 remaining in the half.
* UMB went up by five, 29-24, when LeRoy hit from long range. After a pair of Beacons' free throws, LeRoy's tip-in pulled the Panthers to within two, 31-29, with two minutes to go.
* The UMass Boston defense turned up the pressure, creating turnovers on four straight possessions as part of a 9-0 spurt, with junior Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) accounting for six of the points, to take a 40-29 lead at the half.
* Alisandro got to the basket to cut the margin to nine, 40-31, early in the second half before UMB scored eight straight points to seize control.
* Simpson was fouled behind the line and drained all three free throws, and LeRoy's steal and bucket cut the deficit to 50-38 with 15:47 to go, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Inside the Numbers:
* LeRoy ended with 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 2-of-3 from distance, while adding five assists and two rebounds. Alisandro chipped in with 11 points, six boards and three steals, and Simpson added ten points, two rebounds and two steals.
* Sanchez led all scorers with 26 points (10-of-15)
* Plymouth State recorded 14 assists, with LeRoy dishing out five.
* The Beacons shot a scorching 60.4% (32-of-53) from the field, while the Panthers were a respectable 44.9% (22-of-49).
* UMass Boston has won the last four meetings between the two teams.
* Plymouth State wraps up a stretch of five games in ten days with a league contest at Western Connecticut State University on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 3:00 p.m.
* The Beacons play host to Rhode Island College in an LEC clash at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 12).
– 30 –