LeRoy's late triple leads Panthers to Senior Day win, third seed
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) knocked down a three-pointer with 37 seconds to play to help lift Plymouth State University to a hard-fought 61-54 win over the University of Massachusetts Boston in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game on Senior Day at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Devin Cooper (Newfield, N.Y.) broke a 54-54 tie with an inside bucket with 1:24 left and LeRoy drilled the dagger three on the Panthers' next possession before sophomore Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) sank a pair of free throws to secure the Plymouth State win.
PSU improves to 15-10 and 9-7 in the Little East, while UMass Boston drops to 15-10 and 9-7 in league play. The two teams, along with Rhode Island College, all finish in a three-way tie for third in the final conference standings, but the Panthers owned the tiebreaker to secure the third seed and will host rival Keene State in a first-round game on Tuesday (Feb. 25). UMass Boston will be the fourth seed and will face fifth-seeded RIC.
Plymouth State 61, UMass Boston 54
Plymouth State (15-10, 9-7 LEC)
UMass Boston (15-10, 9-7 LEC)
How it Happened.
- In a tightly contested match-up, UMass Boston played with a slight lead over the first eight-plus minutes before freshman Kevin Henry (Stratham, N.H.) evened the score at 11-11 with 11:33 left in the opening half.
- The Beacons went right back ahead to take their biggest lead of the game, 21-15, with 6:14 left on the clock.
- UMB still led by six, 26-20, three minutes later, but PSU closed the half with a 7-2 run highlighted by LeRoy's three in the final seconds to pull the Panthers to within 28-27 at the break.
- The lead traded hands several times over the first three minutes of the second half. Sophomore Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) nailed a trifecta from the right corner to spark an 11-0 run as the Panthers surged ahead, 44-33, with inside 13 minutes to play.
- UMass Boston fought back with a 7-0 run to make it a 48-44 game with seven minutes left and moments later a Beacons' three cut the lead to 50-47.
- Two LeRoy free throws pushed the lead back to seven, 54-47, but the visitors scored seven straight points to square the game at 54-54 with 2:28 left.
- Cooper scored on a put-back with 1:24 to go, setting up LeRoy's clutch triple and Rivera iced the game from the line.
Inside the Numbers:
- LeRoy led all scorers with 20 points and added five rebounds, while Cooper posted a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.
- Henry added eight points, while junior Gerald Fleming (Tampa, Fla.) pulled down eight boards.
- PSU held a 43-39 advantage on the boards and the Panthers held a 20-4 edge in bench points.
- Plymouth State's third place finish in the regular season standings is its highest since the 2008-09 season.
- Third-seeded Plymouth State will host sixth-seeded Keene State in a first-round game on Tuesday (Feb. 25) with game time to be determined.
|Plymouth State seniors with their families during Senior Day ceremony|
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