LeRoy, Rivera lead Panthers in LEC setback
GORHAM, Maine – Senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) and sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) combined for 36 points, but Plymouth State University came up short down the stretch in a 68-62 setback at the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at Hill Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
The game was deadlocked at 51-51 with just over five minutes remaining, but the Huskies drilled a triple and would stay in front the rest of the way. LeRoy's trifecta cut the margin to 56-54 with 3:31 to go, but USM answered from distance. Rivera trimmed the deficit to 59-56 with his layup with two minutes to play, but the Huskies answered with four-straight points. Rivera hit from long range to pull PSU to within 63-59 with a minute remaining, but USM was strong from the free throw line down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Plymouth State falls to 13-9 and 7-6 in the Little East, while USM improves to 10-12 and 5-9 in conference play.
Plymouth State 62, Southern Maine 68
Plymouth State (13-9, 7-6 LEC)
Southern Maine (10-12, 5-9 LEC)
How it Happened.
- Rivera nailed a three-pointer to give PSU a 15-10 lead after 7:44 of play.
- Rivera's layup gave the Panthers their biggest lead, 29-19, with 4:25 left in the opening half, but Southern Maine rallied with a 11-2 spurt to make it a one-point game.
- Rivera's two free throws pushed the PSU lead to 33-30 at the half.
- The Panthers held a slight lead until a pair of free throws squared things at 42-42 after seven minutes.
- Junior Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.) restored the lead, but USM hit twice from the charity stripe to pull in front at the midpoint of the half.
- Freshman Kevin Henry (Stratham, N.H.) got to the rim to give PSU its last lead, 49-48, with 6:25 left on the clock and, after USM went back in front with a triple, Henry's jumper evened the game at 51-51 with 5:22 left.
- The hosts used an 8-3 run to go ahead, 59-54, but Rivera's layup made it a one-possession game with 2:14 remaining.
- The Huskies got to the basket on back-to-back possessions, but Rivera hit from beyond the arc to pull the Panthers to within 63-59 with a minute left to go.
- USM added five points from the charity stripe to hold on for the win.
Inside the Numbers:
- LeRoy led all scorers with 22 points and added six rebounds, while Rivera went for 14 points and four boards.
- Henry chipped in with nine points and three rebounds off the bench, while freshman Cody Graham (Rye, N.H.) added eight points.
- Fleming pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
- PSU outscored the Huskies from the floor (54-43), but Southern Maine made 25 free throws to the Panthers' eight.
- USM held a slight edge on the boards (42-39), but the PSU bench outscored its counterparts by a 23-18 margin.
- Plymouth State heads to Eastern Connecticut for another LEC contest on Saturday (Feb. 15) at 3:00 p.m.
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