PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University gave undefeated and 19th-ranked University of Massachusetts Dartmouth all it could handle Saturday afternoon, but fell to the Corsairs, 84-80, in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
UMD trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and didn’t take its first lead until there were eight minutes left in the second half. It was tied at 73-all with three minutes remaining, and PSU was still within two points in the final seconds before UMD sealed the deal with a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining. The Corsairs, ranked 19th in the D3hoops.com national poll, improves to 15-0 overall and 5-0 in the LEC, while PSU drops to 4-11 and 1-4.
Senior Dan Holbrook (Lexington, Mass.) led all scorers with 27 points for UMD, sinking 12-of-14 from the field and collecting a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore Matt Walker (Brockton, Mass.) added 13 points for the Corsairs and junior Reece Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points and seven assists.
Sophomore Jason O’Keefe (Everett, Mass.) topped the Panthers with 20 points off the bench. Freshman Matt Feehan (Nashua, N.H./South) added 14 points and sophomore Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) contributed 10 points for the winners.
The Panthers started the game with perhaps their best half of the season, shooting 75 percent from the floor (15-of-20) and leading the entire 20 minutes. PSU had a double-digit advantage (30-20) with just over five minutes on the clock before UMD rallied to pull to within two points (40-38) at the break.
PSU maintained the lead the first 10 minutes of the second half before UMD tied it at 58-apiece, and took its first advantage of the day (61-59) with just over eight minutes remaining. The teams traded the lead back and forth over the next six minutes until the Corsairs went ahead for good (75-73) with 2:45 to play. The Panthers stayed within five points and whittled the margin down to two with three seconds to play, but came up just short in the end.
Plymouth State shot 65 percent from the field in the game and out-rebounded the Corsairs, 31-20, while UMD shot 52.5 percent from the field. PSU turned the ball over 16 times, compared to just six for the visitors.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday at 7:30 with LEC road games, PSU visiting rival Keene State and UMass Dartmouth traveling to Rhode Island College.
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