PSU Men’s Basketball knocks off UMass Boston in key LEC game

PSU Men’s Basketball knocks off UMass Boston in key LEC game

Alisandro with yet another double-double in Panthers' win

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) notched yet another double-double, his fourth in five games, and added a huge blocked shot in the final minute to lead Plymouth State University to a 75-71 win over the University of Massachusetts Boston in a key Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

            PSU entered the night one game behind the Beacons for the sixth and final playoff spot, but the win, coupled with a loss by Rhode Island College, leaves Plymouth, UMB and RIC in a three-way tie for fifth place in the LEC.

            Freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) broke a 63-63 tie with a jumper with 2:50 to play and the Panthers would lead the rest of the way. After a basket from junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) gave the hosts a four-point lead, UMB got a clutch three-pointer from junior Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) to pull within one.

            Alisandro completed an old-fashioned three-point play after a beautiful feed from Rivera on the next possession and Sanchez was off the mark on his next attempt from long range. PSU looked to be in good shape with a four-point lead and less than a minute to play, but Sanchez came up with a steal and appeared to have an easy breakaway layup. Alisandro chased him down from behind, though, pinning the shot against the backboard and PSU made five-of-six free throws to close out the win.

            Plymouth State improves to 12-11 and 6-8 in the Little East, while UMass Boston drops to 11-11 and 6-8 in league play.


            The Final Score:

            Plymouth State 75, UMass Boston 71



            Plymouth State (12-11, 6-8 LEC)

            UMass Boston (11-11, 6-8 LEC)


            How it Happened:

            * The game was tight from start to finish, with neither team gaining more than a six point advantage until the final seconds. The offenses were slow to start as PSU trailed 5-4 after the opening five minutes.

            * Senior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) tied the game at 8-8 with a jumper, but UMB pulled ahead, 14-8, with 9:41 left in the first half.

            * The Beacons went in front, 20-16, after freshman Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) finished an "and-1" opportunity, but PSU came right back and freshman Bryton Early (Somersworth, N.H.) evened the score with 6:44 remaining.

            * After a UMB free throw, Alisandro and Rivera sank back-to-back triples as PSU went ahead 26-21.

            * LeRoy drove to the basket to put the hosts ahead, 36-31, with 48 seconds left in the half, but Sanchez drained a three to make it a 36-34 game at the break.

            * The Beacons went back in front on a triple from sophomore Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) six minutes into the second half and the teams traded the lead multiple times over the next few minutes.

            * Osgood's basket gave the Panthers a 61-56 lead with 5:20 to play, but the visitors rallied to knot the game at 63-63 with 3:13 to go.

            * PSU went right back in front after buckets from Rivera and LeRoy, but Sanchez knocked in a three from the left wing to cut the margin to 67-66.

            * Alisandro finished at the rim after a beautiful feed from Rivera, then swished the ensuing free throw to restore the four-point lead, 70-66, with 1:22 to play.

            * Sanchez missed from long range and the Panthers collected the rebound, but the Beacons' defense caused a turnover at midcourt and Sanchez took off for a breakaway layup. Alisandro raced down court for the key block and PSU corralled the loose ball with less than a minute to play.

            * LeRoy, Rivera and junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) went a combined 5-of-6 from the charity stripe to seal the win.


            Inside the Numbers:

            * Alisandro led the way for the Panthers, finishing with team highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

            * PSU had three other players finish in double figures as LeRoy and Rivera both added 15 points, while Osgood chipped in with 14. Osgood added six rebounds, and Rivera notched five boards and eight assists.

            * Hill led the Beacons with 21 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor, while adding six boards. Sanchez nailed four triples to finish with 18 points, and Boyd filled the box score with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

            * Plymouth State shot 55.8% from the floor, while the Beacons went 26-of-63 (41.3%).

            * UMass Boston held a 34-32 advantage on the boards.

            * The Panthers were clutch from the free throw line, sinking 15-of-18 (83.3%), while UMB finished 11-of-17 (64.7%).


            Straight from the Coach's Mouth:

            "I thought we did a nice job of fighting for 40 minutes," said head coach Andrew Novick. "We played together, especially down the stretch, and got the key stops and rebounds when we needed them. Hopefully we can use this as a building block for Saturday's game with a very talented UMass Dartmouth team."


            Up Next:

            * The Panthers host the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 3:00 p.m.

            * The Beacons' next contest is also against UMass Dartmouth, as the Corsairs head to Boston next Wednesday (Feb. 13) for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.





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