GORHAM, Maine – Junior guard Josh Daniels (Everett, Wash.) scored a season-high 26 points to lead four players in double-figures Tuesday evening as the University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the Plymouth State University Panthers, 81-74, in Little East Conference men’s basketball action at Hill Gymnasium.
The win snaps a five-game losing skid for the Huskies, who improve to 5-10 overall and 1-5 in the Little East. The Panthers dip below .500 to 8-9 overall and 1-5 in the LEC.
Daniels was 9-of-16 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe and added four assists, three steals and three rebounds. Junior Drew Coppenrath (Barnet, Vt.) matched his career-high with 15 points, including a 3-for-4 mark from three-point range. Junior Nick Gooding (Concord, Calif.) and sophomore Charlie O’Neill (Seymour, Conn.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Gooding paced the Huskies with a team-high nine rebounds.
Plymouth State placed four players in double-digits led by a 20-point, six-rebound effort from senior Devin Ruocco (Dover, N.H.). Sophomore Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) tossed in 12 points while senior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) and freshman Jason O’Keefe (Everett, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points each.
Southern Maine scored 11 unanswered points early in the second half, turning a 44-40 deficit into a seven-point lead (51-44) with 13:30 on the clock. Plymouth State would get no closer than five points the rest of the way, as the Huskies scored key baskets down the stretch for the win.
USM shot 48.1 percent (26-for-54) from the field and was an outstanding 19-for-21 (90.5 percent) from the free throw line. The Huskies were also hot from long range, making 10 of 17 from three-point range for a 58. 8 percent clip. Southern Maine also committed a season-low eight turnovers.
PSU made 50 percent of its shots for the game, connecting on 27-of-54 from the field, and was 8-for-20 from three-point range (40 percent).
Both teams are back in action on Saturday in 3:00 p.m. LEC contests, with Southern Maine visiting UMass Dartmouth and Plymouth State traveling to Western Connecticut.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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