Tsiklauri comes off the bench for career-best 18 points in loss
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Keene State College used an 18-0 run in the second half to erase a four-point halftime deficit on the way to an 89-70 win over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The first half was full of back-and-forth action, with Plymouth State maintaining a lead for much of the frame, and senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) drilled a step-back jumper to give the Panthers a 40-36 lead at halftime.
Junior Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.) sank a free throw as PSU maintained its lead, 45-42, three minutes into the second half, but the Owls' defense locked down to hold Plymouth scoreless over the next five minutes during an 18-0 run to seize control.
Plymouth State drops to 5-6 and 0-3 in the LEC, while Keene State goes to 5-7 and remains perfect (4-0) in league play.
Plymouth State 70, Keene State 89
Plymouth State (5-6, 0-3 LEC)
Keene State (5-7, 4-0 LEC)
How it Happened.
- The Owls broke a 4-4 tie when junior DeVon Beasley (Andover, Mass.) scored five straight points to give the visitors a 9-4 lead after the opening five minutes.
- Fleming threw down a baseline dunk and freshman Giorgi Tsiklauri (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit from inside to cut the Panthers' deficit to 14-12 with 12 minutes left in the first half.
- Keene went back up by six, but sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) was fouled as he knocked down a three and he hit the ensuing free throw. Moments later Tsiklauri's bucket put PSU ahead, 21-18.
- Sophomore Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) came up with a steal and raced the length of the court for a breakaway layup as the Panthers extended the lead to 25-19 with nine minutes left in the half.
- The Owls cut the deficit to one on multiple occasions, but Plymouth State was able to maintain the lead and LeRoy's jumper from the elbow gave the Panthers a 40-36 lead at the half.
- KSC took control with an 18-0 run over a five minute stretch to go ahead, 60-45, with 12:15 to play and Plymouth State was unable to recover.
Inside the Numbers:
- Tsiklauri netted a career-high 18 points in 17 minutes off the bench. He went 6-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, while adding six rebounds.
- Fleming was the only other Panther in double figures, adding 11 points and a team-best nine boards.
- PSU had four players finish with eight points apiece; Rivera, LeRoy, sophomore Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) and freshman Kevin Henry (Stratham, N.H.).
- Keene held a 45-38 advantage on the glass.
- Plymouth State remains in conference play when the Panthers travel to Castleton for a 7:30 p.m. match-up on Thursday (Jan. 9).
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