CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Plymouth State University junior Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) registered a monstrous double-double of 22 points and 23 points as the Panthers pulled away late in the second half to down Lesley University 87-77 in non-conference men's basketball action at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
The Panthers used a 9-2 spurt over the final 2:14 of play to stretch a three-point advantage into a ten point lead and improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season. The loss slides Lesley to 0-7.
Plymouth senior Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) joined Preston with a double-double of his own as he posted 20 points and 13 boards while junior guard Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) poured in a game-best 26 points to go with seven rebounds and four steals. Fellow junior Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) added six points, four assists, and five swipes for the guests.
The Panthers dominated the boards all night, out-rebounding the Lynx by a 52-30 margin, including pulling down 23 off the offensive glass that led to 31 second chance points.
Lesley saw four players finish in double-digits, led by junior Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) who tallied a team-high 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assist. Junior Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.) and freshmen Xeo Golding (Windermere, Fla.) and Charlie Reznikoff (Wilton, Conn.) each added 15 points for the hosts. St. Simon added five boards, four assists, and five steals to his line while junior Terrell Toney (Lakewood, Wash.) finished with eight points and five assists.
The Lynx offense, which connected on 46-percent shooting on the night, started slow as they missed their first five shots and the Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the first 3:24 of action.
Lesley rebounded quickly and used a 16-4 run over the next 4:15, capped by a Reznikoff triple and Mayo layup, to take their first lead of the night, 16-14. After a Preston layup, the Lynx would go on to score nine straight and 12 of the next 13 points to extend their lead to 28-19, their biggest advantage of the night.
The Panthers would crawl back into the game and eventually tie the score at 36-36 following a Uche fast-break layup before the teams would head into the locker room knotted at 41-41.
The second half would start similar to the first as Plymouth would start on a 10-2 run and would not trail again.
The Lynx trimmed the Panthers lead to just three points twice with less than three minutes to play, but each time Uche would follow with a bucket before Plymouth would use their late 9-2 streak to close out the win.
Both squads will return to action on Thursday, December 3rd. The Lynx will open up New England Collegiate Conference play at Newbury College at 8:00p while the Panthers will play host to Lyndon State at 7:30p.