PLYMOUTH, N.H. – With the regular season now complete, the basketball teams at Plymouth State College have their sights set on winning the Little East Conference Tournaments, with first-round games set for this Tuesday (Feb. 24) at campus sites around the conference.
The Panther men, who shared the LEC regular season title with UMass Dartmouth by going 12-2 in league games, earned the No. 2 seed in the men’s tournament. Coach Paul Hogan’s squad, 18-6 overall, will host seventh seeded Southern Maine Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium (7:00 p.m.), as the Huskies completed an 8-16 regular season, 4-10 in the LEC. PSC lost the tie-breaker with UMD for the No. 1 seed, due to a two-game split with third-place Keene State, while the Corsairs swept the third-place Owls.
The PSC women, who finished the regular season at 11-12 overall and 4-10 in the conference, have drawn the sixth seed in the tournament. Coach Marti Kingsley’s squad will travel to third-seeded Western Connecticut Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) to take on the Colonials, who finished the regular season at 19-5 overall, 10-4 in the conference.
“We’re very happy to have won a share of the regular season title,” said Hogan. “We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get the whole thing done, but we’ve had a great season. The 12-2 record is by far our best conference record ever. The thing I like about our team is that we’re a good road team, with nice wins at Keene, Western Connecticut and Rhode Island College.”
The regular season title for the Panther men is PSC’s first and only since the 1988-89 Panthers shared the regular season crown with Southern Maine. That year, PSC hosted the tournament but USM won the tourney championship.
“USM will bring a dangerous team to Plymouth Tuesday night,” said Hogan. “They have a Player of the Year-type player in Mike Fennessy, and they have been over a .500 team since he joined them. His presence alone makes them a formidable opponent.”
The highest remaining seeds after Tuesday’s games will host the semi-finals and final next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 27-28). Barring an upset, the men’s tournament will be completed at top-seeded UMass Dartmouth, while the women’s tourney will be decided at nine-time champion Southern Maine. Both LEC tournament champions will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments.