Plymouth State Sinks Southern Maine 72-59

Jackson had his team-leading fifth double-double of the season.
Jackson had his team-leading fifth double-double of the season.
PLYMOUTH, N.H. –  Sophomore guard Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) scored a game-high 15 points to lead four players in double-figures as the Plymouth State University Panthers pulled away from the University of Southern Maine Huskies for a 72-59 win in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Tuesday night at Foley Gymnasium in Plymouth, N.H.

         The win improves Plymouth State's record to 6-10 overall and 2-6 in the Little East.  Southern Maine falls to 7-10 with the loss and 1-7 in the conference.

         Despite a 2-for-7 effort from the floor, Skevas was able to lead all scorers with a perfect 11-for-11 mark from the free throw line.  Skevas added a game-high five steals.  Sophomore guard Sheldon Benson (Pembroke, N.H./Pembroke Academy) added 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 mark from the floor, including three three-pointers.  Senior forward Jesse Sabolis (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) tossed in 11 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while senior guard Kyle Walker (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooklyn College Academy) tossed in 10 points and grabbed six rebounds off of the bench.

         Southern Maine senior forward Jeremy Jackson (Laplace, La./Independence) led the Huskies with his team-leading fifth double-double of the season.  Jackson was 5-for-11 from the field for a team-high 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.  Sophomore guard Brandon Tomah (Princeton, Maine/Calais) added 11 points and four assists.  Sophomore guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) added 11 points and two steals.  Junior guard Alex Kee (Bath, Maine/Morse) had six points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists.

         Trailing 30-28 at the break, Southern Maine scored the first five points of the second half to grab a modest 33-30 lead with 18:45 to play following a three pointer from senior guard Chris Pagentine (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) and an offensive rebound and a put back from Jackson.  PSU quickly pulled even with the Huskies on a three from senior guard Brian Chergey (Bow, N.H./Bow) and both teams battled back and forth over the next six minutes. 

At 12:45 on the clock, Jackson pulled USM to within a point of PSU, 42-41 with another offensive rebound and a put back, before the Panthers rattled off eight unanswered points for a 50-41 lead with 10:01 to play.  Benson ignited the Panthers' run with a three pointer after a Skevas three and an assist from Chergey.

         Kee snapped the scoreless drought for the Huskies, knocking down a three-pointer and Jackson scored a traditional three-point play with a layup and a free throw as part of a 6-2 mini-run for USM, pulling the Huskies to within two possessions of the Panthers, 52-47 with 8:06 to play. 

         The game remained a two-possession contest with both teams exchanging baskets at 55-49 with 7:02 to play, before the Panthers used a 5-1 run, including three consecutive free throws from Skevas for a 60-50 lead with 2:37 on the clock.  Plymouth State was able to close the game out from the free throw line, making 6-of-6, and outscoring USM 12-4 down the stretch for the 72-59 final.

         Southern Maine hosts Western Connecticut State on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).  Plymouth State hosts UMass Dartmouth on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).