PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State College’s men’s basketball team built a 20-point first half lead Tuesday and went on to knock off Southern Maine, 92-66, in the opening round of the Little East Conference Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
The win advances the Panthers, 19-6 overall, into the LEC semi-finals Friday in North Dartmouth, Mass. The second-seeded Panthers will face the third-seeded Keene State Owls, a 99-98 winner over UMass Boston in another first round game Tuesday. USM completes its season at 8-17.
Junior guard Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA) paced the Panthers with 21 points in just 23 minutes of play. He hit five of eight field goal tries, including all three three-point attempts and all eight free throws. Senior Doug Stokes (Wyckoff, NJ) added 14 points with a 7-of-10 shooting performance, and senior Ace Elefteriadis (Belmont, MA) and junior Jamodi Robinson (Framingham, MA) added 11 points apiece.
The Panthers went up by 20 points at 44-24 on a dunk by Robinson with 3:25 to go in the first half. The Huskies cut the lead to 14 at the half at 48-34, but PSC went on a 25-9 run to open the second half and cruised to the win from there. PSC registered a 44-27 advantage on the boards.
Junior Mike Fennessy (Lewiston, ME) led the Huskies with 17 points, three below his 20-point average. Senior Frank Billings (Concord, NH) added 15 points, including four three-pointers, and Jim Cole (Portland, ME) chipped in with 13.
The Keene State-Plymouth State game Friday at top-seeded UMass Dartmouth is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m., followed by UMD vs. Western Connecticut. The championship game is Saturday at 4:00 p.m., with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.