PLYMOUTH, N.H. – For the third straight year and the fourth time in five seasons, the Plymouth State College men’s basketball team has advanced to the post-season.
The Panthers, led by eighth-year head coach Paul Hogan, are seeded seventh in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Championship Tournament. PSC will meet second-seeded Colby-Sawyer College this Wednesday (Mar. 4) in New London, NH (7:00 p.m.).
After capturing a share of the Little East Conference regular season title, Plymouth State, 19-7 overall, was eliminated from the LEC Tournament in the semi-finals by Keene State, 110-93, last Friday. Colby-Sawyer, 22-4 overall, won the Commonwealth Coast Conference regular season title with a 13-0 mark, but was upset in the conference tournament last Thursday by Roger Williams, 73-62.
“We played a very difficult regular season schedule,” said Hogan, who was selected Little East Conference Coach of the Year Monday, “and we were hoping the success we had and the consistency we showed would help us with the ECAC Committee. We’re disappointed we weren’t ranked higher in the tournament. I thought our team deserved one more chance to play another game on our home court.”
The other first round games are #8 Emerson at #1 Amherst, #6 Bridgewater State at #3 Wentworth, and #5 Keene State at #4 Worcester. The semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 7, with the championship game slated for Sunday, Mar. 8.
Plymouth State and Colby-Sawyer have met only three times since the Chargers began men’s basketball in 1990-91, with the Panthers winning all three encounters. PSC registered a 131-79 victory on Nov. 17, 1990, a 78-49 decision on Feb. 5, 1991, and a 103-85 verdict on Feb. 4, 1992.
“This should be a great match-up between two in-state schools,” said Hogan. “They’re tournament tested, and have had a very successful program over the years. They have a big, rugged front-court that will be tough for us to deal with. They’ll have a major advantage in the front-court.”
The Panthers are led by junior guard Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA) and senior forward Ace Elefteriadis (Belmont, MA), who were both selected to the All-LEC First Team Monday. DeChristopher, who was named New Hampshire Player of the Year last week, was tabbed LEC Player of the Year Monday. Junior guard-forward Eric McQueen (Lawrence, MA) also earned honorable mention on the All-LEC Team.
PSC finished runner-up in the ECAC Tournament in 1994, competed in the NCAA Tournament in 1996, and advanced to the semi-finals of the ECAC Tournament in 1997.