WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Trailing by two points at the break, the Plymouth State College men’s basketball team opened the second half with a 28-6 run, including 21 straight points, and never looked back en route to an 82-67 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday at Geissler Gymnasium.
Sophomore Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) led a balanced Panther attack, scoring 20 points and hitting four three-point field goals. Senior Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) contributed 13 points apiece, and sophomore Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) turned in a solid double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
The victory was PSC’s fourth in a row, improving the Panthers to 14-4 overall and 7-2 in the LEC. ECSU dropped its second straight and dipped to 6-13 overall and 4-5 in the league.
Combined with UMass Dartmouth’s 94-71 victory Saturday over Western Connecticut, PSC and WCSU are tied for first in the LEC with 7-2 conference records.
PSC built a nine-point lead (21-12) in the first half and had a six-point advantage (26-20) with five minutes to go in the opening stanza, but watched the hosts go on a 13-5 burst to take a 33-31 lead at halftime. The Panthers had the big surge to open the second half and take a 59-39 lead with 13 minutes to play and Eastern never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
The Warriors were led by senior Christopher Morgan (Higganum, Conn.), who hit 5-of-5 three-point attempts and finished with a team-high 17 points. Juniors Gordon Shepard (Waterbury, Conn.) and Michael Kipphut (Meriden, Conn.) chipped in with 16 points apiece.
The Panthers will host Johnson & Wales University Thursday in a non-conference affair at Foley Gymnasium (7:00 p.m.), then host LEC co-leader Western Connecticut Saturday at 3:00 p.m.