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Arsenault’s Milestone Highlights Panthers’ 1-0 Start

By Kameron Towle; For the Clock
On November 17, 2016

Arsenault’s Milestone Highlights Panthers’ 1-0 Start 

Kameron Towle

For The Clock

The Plymouth State Men’s Basketball team traveled to the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) to take on Rivier in the Boys & Girls Club Classic on Tuesday night, in which they defeated the Raiders 84-60 in their season opener. PSU has now won the match-up for the fourth straight season. The Panthers were led by a trio of Seniors, Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.), Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.), and Ernie Johnson (Springfield, Mass.), who all contributed 14 points. The big win on opening night was highlighted by milestone for Arsenault’s career. The Panthers’ first basket was an Arsenault three, which gave him 1,001 career points, which is good for the 28th player to score 1,000 in program history.

Rivier played PSU pretty closely for much of the first half until Plymouth broke away in the final minutes. After two free-throws by Senior Kevin Francis (Cromwell, Conn.), the Raiders were down only four with 2:24 to go in the half. Then, the Panthers went on a 9-2 run to end the half thanks to baskets from Freshman Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.), Senior Nate Clarke (Reading, Mass.), and a three-pointer by Junior Colin Sullivan (Plymouth, N.H.) right before the buzzer sounded that gave the Panthers a double-digit lead 43-32.

PSU went on to dominate the second half, outscoring Rivier 41-28. There was a stretch in the second half, from 9:19 to 7:32, where the Panthers put up ten points, ending with an Arsenault put-back layup that put the game out of reach at 69-48. In the second half, Arsenault scored ten and Leroy added eight on 3-for-5 shooting to help put the Raiders away. Freshman Nathan Hale (Nashua, N.H.) scored his first career points with a jumper to give PSU a 77-52 lead, and then added another bucket to give PSU its largest lead at 84-58 before a layup by the Raiders concluded the game.

For the Rivier Raiders, Francis scored 14 and grabbed 11 rebounds and Freshman Tristian Givens (Windsor, Conn.) added 17 points.

For the Panthers, along with recording his 1,000th career point, Arsenault scored 14 along with two steals, three blocks, two assists, and three rebounds. Johnson dropped in 14 (7-of-12) and six rebounds and two assists. Preston had his 14 points as well as a team-high nine rebounds. Clarke recorded seven assists and four rebounds. Leroy added 13 on 5-of-7 shooting.

Plymouth State dominated in many statistical categories on their opening night. Along with out-shooting their opponent (47.8% to 34.4%), they also out-hustled the Raiders on the inside. They had twenty more points in the paint (40-20) and out- rebounded them 47-28, and in result had ten more second chance points. The Panthers’ bench was a big positive, outscoring Riviers’ 45-20.

Plymouth State returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 17 at home vs. Norwich University at 7:00 p.m. Rivier faces Unity College in Nashua, N.H. on Friday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. 

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