MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Chris Timson (Beverly, Mass.) scored 26 points Sunday afternoon to lead the Keene State College men’s basketball team past rival Plymouth State University, 86-70, in the opening game of the New Hampshire Hoops Classic at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Saint Anselm College and Southern New Hampshire University matched up in the second game of the afternoon, and the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College battled in the third contest of the day. The event, the first of its kind in the nation, featured three basketball games, one from each college division, on the same day on the same court.
Plymouth State, which came into the contest riding a seven-game winning streak to start the season, missed 16 of its first 17 shots and fell behind 16-2 with nine minutes gone. The Panthers battled back to make 13 of their next 18 baskets and force a 36-all tie at the break.
It was anyone’s game through the first 10 minutes of the second half, and PSU held a 52-51 advantage with 10 minutes on the clock. But the Owls went on a 17-5 run to take a 68-57 lead with 5:33 to play, and the Panthers never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Timson hit 11 of 21 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Owls. Senior Alphonse Michalski (Northampton, Mass.) added 16 points, hitting 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Plymouth State got a game-high 29 points from junior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine), who connected on 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, but the Panther point guard also suffered 11 turnovers. He was the only Panther to score in double figures, as the team finished with a 37 percent shooting clip, 10 percentage points below its average.
The non-conference contest was the first of three meetings this season between the archrivals. The teams will play Little East Conference regular-season games on Jan. 20 in Plymouth and Feb. 10 in Keene.
PSU, 7-1, takes a break for final exams and the holidays before returning to action on Sunday, Jan. 4, with a non-conference game at Johnson & Wales. KSC, 6-1, plays again in the Williams College Tournament on Jan. 2-3.