Rivera knocks down five triples in LEC loss
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) scored a team-high 21 points and nailed five three-pointers, but Eastern Connecticut State University used a 28-11 run in the second half to pull away from the Panthers, 79-60, in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a back-and-forth game throughout the first half, with PSU holding a narrow 31-30 lead at the break. Eastern Connecticut went up early in the second half, but the Panthers trailed by just two, 51-49, with just under ten minutes remaining. The Warriors pulled away from there, though, outscoring PSU 28-11 the rest of the way.
PSU dips to 6-7 overall and 1-4 in the Little East, while Eastern Connecticut evens its record at 7-7 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
Plymouth State 60, ECSU 79
Plymouth State (6-7, 1-4 LEC)
ECSU (7-7, 3-2 LEC)
How it Happened.
- The Panthers came out aggressive as Rivera drained a pull-up jumper and sophomore Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) and junior Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.) connected from inside for an early 6-0 lead to force a Warriors' timeout.
- Eastern Connecticut recovered out of the break with a 13-2 spurt to surge in front.
- Alisandro found Fleming on a backdoor cut for an easy lay-in as PSU went back ahead, 18-16, with nine minutes left in the half.
- Both teams got hot from long range as Rivera and senior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) hit from beyond the arc for the Panthers, and junior Cory Muckle (Westbrook, Conn.) canned a pair of triples for the Warriors and the game was deadlocked at 26-26 with 3:47 left in the half.
- Rivera banged home another triple from the right wing as PSU took a 31-28 lead in the final minute, but Muckle hit a step-back jumper at the other end to make it a 31-30 game at the half.
- The teams went back-and-forth to open the second half before freshman Rakesh Tibby (East Hartford, Conn.) converted from down low on consecutive possessions to put Eastern Connecticut ahead by five, 45-40, after 3:30.
- Simpson's three-pointer squared the game at 45-45 a minute later, but the Warriors held PSU scoreless over the next four-and-a-half minutes to take a 49-45 lead.
- Muckle buried his fifth and sixth three-pointers of the day as part of an 11-0 run to push the Warriors' lead to 62-49, but Rivera's three, an old-fashioned three-point play by Alisandro and LeRoy's jumper pulled PSU to within 64-57 with just under four minutes to play.
- The visitors recovered, however, outscoring Plymouth State by a 15-3 margin down the stretch to earn the win.
Inside the Numbers:
- Rivera went 5-of-11 from long range for his 21 points, while adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals. LeRoy added 11 points and three rebounds, and Alisandro totaled nine points, ten rebounds, five assists and three steals.
- Fleming added five points and seven rebounds.
- Muckle scored a game-high 25 points and drained 6-of-9 from beyond the arc to lead the Warriors. Collagan added 19 points, while sophomore Seth Thomas (Norwich, Conn.) chipped in 15 points and eight boards.
- Each team pulled down 39 rebounds.
- Both teams are back in conference action on Wednesday (Jan. 15). The Panthers host Southern Maine at 7:30 p.m., while Eastern Connecticut welcomes Rhode Island College to Geissler Gymnasium for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.
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