Cooper's three-pointer as time expires wins it for Panthers
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior Devin Cooper (Newfield, N.Y.) nailed an uncontested three-pointer as time expired to lift Plymouth State University to a 64-61 win over Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at The Murray Center on Saturday afternoon.
Cooper's layup gave the Panthers a 61-57 lead with 46 seconds to play, but a pair of free throws and a dunk evened the score with just 15 seconds remaining. Cooper pulled up from beyond the arc and the ball went through the rim with zeros on the clock.
Plymouth State wins its fourth straight game to improve to 10-7 and 5-4 in the Little East, just a game behind a group of four teams for the top spot in the league. RIC drops to 13-5 and 6-4 in the LEC.
Plymouth State 64, RIC 61
Plymouth State (10-7, 5-4 LEC)
RIC (13-5, 6-3 LEC)
How it Happened.
- RIC jumped out to a quick start with a 19-6 lead in the opening eight minutes of action, sparked by four three-pointers by three different Anchormen.
- Freshman Shion Darby (Peekskill, N.Y.) gave the hosts their largest lead, 21-8, with his layup with 10:58 left in the opening half, but PSU clawed back with a 19-10 run over the final ten minutes of the half to trail by just four, 31-27, at the half.
- The second half was back-and-forth the entire way. RIC held a seven-point, 40-33, advantage three minutes into the half, its largest of the second.
- Plymouth State trimmed the lead to one, 50-49, on a layup from senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) and took its first lead of the day, 51-50, when sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) got to the basket on the ensuing possession.
- PSU extended the lead to four, 54-50, on LeRoy's triple, but a Darby triple and free throw knotted the score at 54-54 with 4:56 remaining.
- LeRoy's trifecta restored the lead, 57-54, but RIC came back to even the score with 2:52 to play.
- Junior Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.) drained a jumper, and Cooper's layup made it a four-point game, 61-57, in the final minute but the hosts stormed back to tie the game setting up Cooper's heroics.
Inside the Numbers:
- Cooper posted a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double, his third straight, while LeRoy led the way with 18 points.
- Sophomore Bryton Early (Rollinsford, N.H.) chipped in with nine points, while classmate Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) added four points, five rebounds and five assists.
- Darby finished with a game-high 27 points for the Anchormen.
- PSU shot 54% from the field (26-for-48) and held a 38-24 lead on the boards.
- Plymouth State returns home for a Tuesday (Jan. 28) night match-up with Northern Vermont-Lyndon on Spirit Night. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
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