PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) scored a game-high 30 points, including 15 from the free throw line, as Plymouth State College held off the University of Southern Maine 83-71 in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
The win improved PSC to 11-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Southern Maine dropped its fourth straight to fall to 1-13 overall and 0-6 in the LEC.
Pelotte hit only 6-of-13 from the field, but drained 15-of-19 from the charity stripe to finish with at least 30 points for the fifth time this season. PSC was 31-of-39 (.795) from the line in the game, while the visitors were just 13-of-18.
The Panthers also got 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds from sophomore Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as PSC had a 45-28 advantage on the boards. Sophomore Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H.) added 10 points off the Panther bench.
Sophomore guard Mike Francoeur (Somersworth, N.H.) led the Huskies’ offense with 20 points, 18 coming in the second half. Sophomore Ryan Garland (Hermon, Maine) came off the bench to chip in 12 points.
Southern Maine was within four (15-11) with eight minutes to go in the opening half before Pelotte led a 24-16 charge with 13 points to give the hosts a 39-27 advantage at the intermission. The Huskies stayed within striking distance throughout the second half, but PSC would make 21 of 26 free throws over the final seven minutes to keep the Huskies at bay.
A three-point basket by sophomore Derek Lovely (Oxford, Maine) with 1:20 to play pulled the Huskies back within five (76-71), but the Panthers made 7-of-8 charity tosses in the final 31 seconds to preserve the win.
PSC is back in action Saturday at home with an LEC match-up against UMass Dartmouth (3:00 p.m.). The Panthers defeated UMD 84-79 at Dartmouth back on Dec. 7. Southern Maine will seek its first Little East win of the season Saturday when it hosts Western Connecticut.