KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College men's basketball team limited Plymouth State University to just seven second half field goals in an 88-61 win over the Panthers in Little East Conference action at Spaulding Gym on Wednesday night.
- Keene State: 15-7, 8-3 LEC
- Plymouth State: 10-11, 4-7 LEC
- "This was an important game; we're still in the hunt to host the LEC tournament. We've been practicing really hard and it showed tonight." -- Junior forward Jimmy Layman.
- "I think Preston, Arsenault and (Mike) Osgood are three of the best players in the conference, and we shut them down tonight, I'm very pleased with our effort defensively. Western has the talent to beat anyone in the league and we have to sustain our discipline on Saturday." -- Head Coach Ryan Cain
How It Happened
Ty Nichols led all players with 21 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field in 28 minutes. He was joined in double-figures by Jeff Lunn, who added 18 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the floor and made eight of his nine free throw attempts. Jimmy Layman tossed in 13 points off the bench and Damonte Turner chipped in with 10 points.
Ernie Johnson, Jaylen Leroy, and Curtis Arsenault all scored 11 points for the Panthers. PSU big man Jack Preston, who came in averaging 18.7 points, scored just eight on 3-for-8 shooting from the field.
Plymouth State outscored Keene State 11-5 in the opening five minutes, as Nathan Clarke fed Arsenault for a three from the corner with 14:41 to play. Keene State responded with a 12-2 run over the next five minutes, with Layman putting back an offensive rebound and Nichols sinking a jumper for a 17-13 lead at the 10:49 mark.
Two straight three pointers from Leroy and another from Johnson gave the Panthers a 30-27 lead with 5:08 left in the half, but the Owls restored the lead on consecutive baskets by Layman. The Owls closed out the half on an 11-4 run. The turning point game when Mike Osgood was whistled for an intentional foul on Nichols, who made the basket and the two free throws. The Owls retained possession, and Lunn scored down low, and Layman converted a three point play with 14 seconds left in the half as the Owls went into the break up 44-36.
Leroy had the first basket of the second half, but Ozzella scored the next three for a 50-38 lead and the Owls cruised from there, going up 62-44 when Turner drained a three from the left corner. Plymouth State could not get anything going, making just two of their first seven shots and shooting 7-for-30 (23.3%) in the second half. Ben Olson's layup with 4:05 left in the half gave the Owls their biggest lead at 85-56.
In the Paint
- The Owls swept the season series, impoving to 34-18 all time against the Panthers, including 19-10 at home.
- Keene State also improved to 10-1 at home, and are 13-0 this season with scoring 80+ points.
- KSC also made 22 of 28 free throws (78.6%), the ninth time the Owls have made 20 or more free throws.
- It was the 35th career win for KSC head coach Ryan Cain.
- Keene State remains home, hosting Western Connecticut State on Saturday at 3 p.m.
- The Panthers will travel to UMass Boston on the same day, with the game is scheduled to tip at 3 p.m.