LeRoy's 23-point effort, key steal, spark Panthers to win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) scored a game-high 23 points, but it was his game-saving steal in the final seconds of regulation that sparked Plymouth State University to a 78-76 win over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
PSU held a 75-71 lead with just over a minute to play, but Corsairs' sophomore Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.) drained a three to make it a one-point game with less than a minute on the clock. The teams traded free throws to make it a 77-76 game with four seconds left and LeRoy sank one-of-two from the line to give the Panthers a two-point lead. UMass Dartmouth grabbed the rebound with a last second chance for a game-tying bucket, but LeRoy came up with a game-saving steal to preserve the win.
Plymouth State has won eight-of-ten to improve to 13-8 and 7-5 in the LEC. The Panthers move to within one game of the top spot in the crowded league standings. UMass Dartmouth falls to 13-8 overall and 8-4 in the conference and drops into a tie with WestConn atop the LEC.
Plymouth State 78, UMass Dartmouth 76
Plymouth State (13-8, 7-5 LEC)
UMass Dartmouth (13-8, 8-4 LEC)
How it Happened.
- LeRoy came out on a mission, scoring the Panthers' first eight points as PSU built an 8-3 lead after two minutes.
- The Corsairs rallied and sophomore Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.) gave the visitors their first lead, 10-8, with a straight-on three-pointer.
- LeRoy drove through traffic and finished in the paint, but junior Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) hit from beyond the arc at the other end and the game was deadlocked at 15-15 after seven minutes of action.
- Freshman Cody Graham (Rye, N.H.) capped a wild possession with a triple from the right wing to give the Panthers a 23-19 lead, but UMass Dartmouth countered with 20-straight points, including seven from sophomore Matt Valles (Fairhaven, Mass.) and the Corsairs took a 39-23 lead with 5:11 left in the half.
- PSU trimmed the deficit to ten, 44-34, after a three-ball from sophomore Bryton Early (Rollinsford, N.H.) and classmate Dante Rivera's (Methuen, Mass.) baseline jumper with 2:17 before the break.
- LeRoy's layup cut it to 46-39, but senior Harry Alexander (Washington, D.C.) answered at the other end to give the Corsairs a 48-39 halftime lead.
- Seablom's layup pushed the advantage back to ten, 59-49, but LeRoy had seven points in a 13-4 run for the Panthers as PSU got within one, 63-62, with less than ten minutes to play.
- Rivera came up with a steal and Early found sophomore Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) wide open under the basket as PSU went back in front, 66-65, with 5:35 on the clock and two minutes later Rivera got down court behind the defense to push the lead to 70-65.
- Seablom's triple brought the Corsairs within one, 75-74, with a minute to play and a PSU turnover gave the visitors the ball back with 28.9 seconds remaining.
- UMD went for the lead, but the shot was long and Rivera came up with the loose ball. The teams traded free throws over the final five seconds. With PSU leading 78-76, UMass Dartmouth had one last chance, but LeRoy came up with a steal and the clock ran out.
Inside the Numbers:
- LeRoy went 10-of-21 from the field and added four steals to his 23 points.
- Rivera added 13 points, five assists and two steals and Alisandro and Henry each totaled eight points and seven boards.
- Seablom led the Corsairs with 17 points, including a perfect four-of-four from beyond the arc, while Alexander went for a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double.
- PSU outscored UMD in the paint by a 36-28 margin, but the Corsairs owned a 45-27 advantage on the boards.
- Both teams are back in league action on Wednesday (Feb. 12). PSU visits Southern Maine for a 7:30 p.m. clash with the Huskies, while the Corsairs host Keene State at 7:00 p.m.
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