Alisandro paces Panthers with double-double
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) notched his fourth double-double of the season, leading Plymouth State University with 24 points and 12 rebounds but the Panthers were nipped by Eastern Connecticut State University, 80-75, in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Frances E. Geissler Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
In a thrilling back-and-forth battle from start to finish, the Warriors used a 6-1 spurt over the final 40 seconds to earn the win. Plymouth State took a 74-72 lead after junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) nailed a three-pointer with 1:28 remaining, but junior Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Mass.), who notched his 1,000th career point earlier in the game, tied the game with a jumper, then put the Warriors ahead for good with a deep three from the right wing with 38 seconds to play.
Alisandro sank one-of-two from the free throw line to make it a two-point game, 77-75, with 21 seconds left, but Eastern Connecticut made its free throws and got a defensive stop to earn the win.
Plymouth State falls to 10-9 and 5-6 in the LEC, while Eastern Connecticut improves to 15-4 and 9-1 in league play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 75, Eastern Connecticut 80
Plymouth State (10-9, 5-6 LEC)
Eastern Connecticut (15-4, 9-1 LEC)
How it Happened:
* The Warriors took an early lead and Gonzalez's triple gave the hosts a 10-6 advantage after six minutes, but freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) hit from downtown and moments later Alisandro and junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) got to the basket to give PSU a 13-12 lead.
* Senior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) pushed the advantage to 21-17 with his jumper at the midpoint of the first half and Alisandro's jumper made it a six-point game, 30-24, with eight minutes left in the half.
* Osgood hit again as PSU took its largest lead of the game, 34-26, with 6:34 left.
* The Warriors pulled within 39-37 when junior Jake Collagan (Wethersfield, Conn.) hit from long range, but Alisandro answered from distance at the other end and the Panthers went into the intermission with a 42-37 lead.
* Gonzalez had six points as part of a 9-0 ECSU run as the hosts surged back in front. The game remained tight from there, with the lead trading hands multiple times over the next 17 minutes.
* LeRoy scored on back-to-back possessions as Plymouth State went ahead, 56-53, with less than nine minutes to play, and Alisandro's layup made it a seven-point advantage, 62-55, two minutes later.
* ECSU answered with ten straight points to pull back in front, but Osgood sank a jumper as the Panthers see-sawed ahead, 71-70, and LeRoy's trifecta made it 74-72 with 1:28 to play.
* Gonzalez followed with five straight points as the Warriors went in front for good.
Inside the Numbers:
* Alisandro finished 9-of-16 from the floor for his 24 points, while LeRoy added 18 points and three assists.
* Rivera contributed 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Osgood chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds.
* Gonzalez finished with a career-high 34 points, including six three-pointers, for the Warriors.
* The Panthers outshot Eastern Connecticut, 46.9% to 42.4%, but the hosts sank 12 triples to PSU's six.
* Plymouth State owned a 36-31 advantage on the boards.
* The Warriors have won 44 straight LEC regular season home games.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"Our team really competed from start to finish," said head coach Andrew Novick. "I was impressed by our resiliency and spirit. We came up a bit short against a great team, but hopefully we can take a lot of positives from today's game."
* The Panthers host Elms College on Monday (Jan. 28) with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m.
* Eastern Connecticut visits the University of Massachusetts Boston on Wednesday (Jan. 30) at 7:30 p.m.
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