LeRoy goes off for 29 points in narrow setback
CHICOPEE, Mass. – Senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) led all players with 29 points, but Elms College was able to hold off Plymouth State University down the stretch to earn a 67-64 win in a non-conference men's basketball game at Picknelly Arena on Saturday evening.
LeRoy's season-high effort wasn't quite enough as Plymouth State came up just short. Sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) gave the Panthers a 59-55 lead with 4:21 to play, but the hosts responded with eight straight points over the next two minutes. The Blazers held a 67-61 lead with just 30 seconds remaining, but senior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) drained a three to cut the margin in half with 19 seconds to play. PSU took a timeout and strong full court pressure resulted in an Elms' turnover to give the Panthers the ball back with 12 seconds to go, but a game-tying three-point attempt was too strong as the Blazers held on for the win.
The loss snaps Plymouth State's three-game winning streak and drops the Panthers to 3-2 on the year. Elms improves to 2-4.
Plymouth State 64, Elms 67
Plymouth State (3-2)
How it Happened.
- LeRoy banged a pair of three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run to open the game.
- Elms rallied and sophomore Justin Feliciano (Springfield, Mass.) gave the hosts the lead with his triple to make it 14-13 with 9:17 left in the opening half.
- Plymouth State went back up with a 7-0 spurt highlighted by a three point play from sophomore Bryton Early (Rollinsford, N.H.) for a 22-16 advantage with just under six minutes to play in the half.
- LeRoy connected from long range to make it 30-27 late in the frame, but junior Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla.) answered with a pair of trifectas for the Blazers. Sophomore Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) laid it in to cut the margin to 33-32 at the half.
- The game remained close and LeRoy gave PSU a five-point cushion, 45-40, after five minutes of play.
- Elms hung around, though, ultimately reclaiming the lead, 60-59, on a Kewan Smoot (Windsor, Conn.) layup with three minutes to go, and with 30 seconds left Smoot connected from inside for a 67-61 lead.
- Simpson followed with his clutch three-pointer to cut the deficit in half, 67-64, but those would prove to be the game's final points as the Blazers held on.
Inside the Numbers:
- LeRoy had his best game of the season, shooting 10-of-20 from the field, 4-of-8 from distance and 5-of-7 from the free throw line for his 29 points. He added four boards and a pair of assists.
- Rivera chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals and Early added all nine of PSU's bench points to go with three assists and three steals.
- Rivera and LeRoy combined to shoot 50% from the floor (14-of-28), while the rest of the Panthers connected on just 10-of-45 attempts (22.2%).
- Alisandro pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds in the loss.
- The Blazers owned a 49-39 advantage on the glass.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"We did not do a good job containing their penetration or being patient on offense," said head coach Andrew Novick. "Give Elms credit for fighting hard for 40 minutes."
- The Panthers host in-state rival Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday (Nov. 26) with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
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