PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Tyshawn Gillespie (Hartford, Conn.) grabbed the rebound from his own missed shot and laid it off the glass and in with two seconds remaining Saturday afternoon, giving Western Connecticut State University a 75-73 victory over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
Both teams had opportunities to win the game, as the scored was tied at 73-73 with 2:24 remaining in the game. But the defenses applied heavy pressure down the stretch, as each team had three possessions with a chance to take the lead but could not convert. Gillespie finally won it for the Colonials with two ticks on the clock, and PSU’s half-court shot at the buzzer bounced off the backboard.
Senior Jamie Procino (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) led the Colonials with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Gillespie finished with 12 points and seven assists. Junior Dashon Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 11 points and freshman Michael Jensen (Gales Ferry, Conn.) chipped in with 10.
Plymouth State had five players finish with double figures in scoring. Junior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) led the way with 16 points and sophomore Jason O’Keefe (Everett, Mass.) finished with 15. Senior Chris Wilkinson (Newmarket, N.H.) registered his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, while sophomores Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) and Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
It was anyone’s game throughout the first half, with five lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points over the first 18 minutes. WestConn outscored PSU 8-4 over the final two minutes to take a 36-29 advantage into the locker room.
WestConn took its largest lead of the day early in the second half, a 12-point margin (44-32). But PSU came alive and outscored the Colonials 17-4 over the next six minutes, taking a one-point lead (49-48) with just under 13 minutes to play. There were six more lead changes in the second half with neither team leading by more than one possession, and Procino tied things up for the Colonials at 73-all with 2:24 on the clock.
The Colonials won their second straight game to improve to 11-8 overall and 3-6 in the Little East, while PSU lost for the fifth consecutive outing and dipped to 4-15 and 1-8.
PSU will try to snap its skid Wednesday with a non-conference battle at Lyndon State College (7:30 p.m.), while WestConn is off until next Saturday when it hosts UMass Boston (3:00 p.m.)
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