PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Keene State College took over first place in the Little East Conference Tuesday night with an 83-61 victory over archrival Plymouth State University in a men’s basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
The Owls, who defeated the Panthers by 16 points in a non-conference game last month, improve to 6-0 in conference play, while PSU drops to 4-1 in the LEC. Both teams, which received votes in this week’s Division III national poll, are now 13-2 overall, with both of PSU’s losses coming at the hands of the Owls.
Senior Chris Timson (Beverly, Mass.), who scored 26 points against PSU last month, finished with a game-high 24 points Tuesday. Classmate Alphonse Michalski (Northampton, Mass.) hit 5-of-7 from three-point range and ended up with 17 points, and sophomore Sean Sullivan (Athol, Mass.) and senior Matthew Wheeler (Shrub Oak, N.Y.) added 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Senior Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H./West) led the hosts with 19 points, while junior Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 14 points and nine boards and junior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) finished with 10 points. Freshman Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) chipped in with seven points and 10 boards.
Plymouth State jumped out to a quick 15-4 lead, but the Owls got their act together and rallied to tie it at 22-all with eight minutes to play. The teams exchanged baskets before going to the locker room deadlocked at 37-apiece.
It was a three-point Panther advantage (44-41) with 17 minutes on the clock, but KSC caught fire and outscored the Panthers 21-2 over the next seven minutes to take a 16-point lead (62-46) with 10 minutes remaining, and PSU never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Plymouth State shot 34 percent from the field, while Keene State hit at a 41.8 percent clip and had a 52-42 advantage on the boards.
PSU is back in action Thursday at Rhode Island College in a make-up game (from one that was snowed out in early December). The Panthers then return home to host RIC Saturday at Foley Gymnasium. Keene State returns home to host UMass Dartmouth Saturday at 3:00 p.m.