DANBURY, Conn. – Junior Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) took just under three minutes to score his 1,000th collegiate point, but spent an afternoon frustrating the Western Connecticut State University men’s basketball team as Plymouth State University rolled over the Colonials, 70-52, in the Little East Conference opener for both schools at the Feldman Arena and O’Neill Center Saturday afternoon.
Pope finished with a game-high 24 points and was one assist away from a triple-double with 13 rebounds and nine assists. He now has 1,020 career points and is the Panthers’ 20th male player to reach the historic mark.
Senior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the winners, and junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) contributed 12 points.
Senior Greg Cole (Terrytown, N.Y.), who came into the game with a team-leading 23.8 scoring average on the season, was held to just 11 points on 4-of-20 shooting from the field, including two of 12 from three-point range. Senior Jason Barnett (Windsor, Conn.) led WestConn with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Panthers held their biggest lead at the final but never trailed after Pope’s coveted lay-up 2:56 into the contest. PSU outscored the Colonials 12-1 over the last four minutes of the first half to turn a one-point game into a 38-26 Panther advantage at the break, and the visitors led by double digits most of the second half.
PSU, which lost to Western in triple overtime on the same floor in last February’s LEC Championship game, improves to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the LEC, while WestConn., the defending conference champion, drops to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
Plymouth State returns home for non-conference home games against Tufts on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) and Bridgewater State on Thursday (6:00 p.m.). The Colonials take to the road for a non-league meeting at Suffolk University on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.)
(Courtesy of WestConn. Sports Information)
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