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Joe Simpson’s 23 Points Lead the Panthers to LEC Win

By Christian Carrara
On December 7, 2018


The Panthers took on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs this past Saturday in a Little East Conference matchup. The Panthers were on the road and Plymouth entered the game with a 4-3 overall record and a 1-0 conference record. They had just snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over Castleton the game before. Plymouth was hungry for a conference win to help with their early playoff hopes.

Joe Simpson (Manchester, NH) had a big game, leading his team in points and was one of the five players with double-digit points. “I played pretty well, I shot the ball at a high percentage, played great defense, and was a leader when needed. We played well as a unit and capitalized at the end of the game to walk out with the victory. We moved the ball well and ended up with 23 assists.”

The Dartmouth’s home crowd had Plymouth rattle as they were down by three 5 minutes into the half, but the Panthers turned that around with a 17-4 scoring frenzy. Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, NH) sank three shots in a row, ending it with two being three. From there, the Panthers pushed the superior offense on lackadaisical defense pushing their lead to 18 fifteen minutes into the half. Eventually, the half ended with Plymouth leading the Corsairs 44-35. At the end of the half Plymouth was cynical shooting 18 for 30 (60%) for field goals and 6-12 (50%) for three-pointers. The Panthers also amassed 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals. The only thing holding Plymouth back was their abysmal free-throw shooting 2-7 (28.6%).

Plymouth came out of the half trying to push the game out of the reach for UMass as they made their lead a double-digit one. Unfortunately, the Corsairs didn’t want to upset the hometown crowd as they went on a 17-7 run seven minutes into the second half to tie the score 58 all. But the Panthers took charge with a 12 to 4 run which made the score 70-62. The game provided drama late in the game as 27 seconds left Plymouth lead by only 6, which was then cut to just 3 with only 9 seconds to go. But it was Freshman Chris McCarthy who pushed the game to a two-possession game as he went one for two from the line making Plymouth’s lead 4. The game ended on a desperation three-point shot from UMass that missed ending the game at 90-86. Plymouth did even better in the second half shooting 16-26 (61.5%) for field goals, 6-11 (54.5%) for threes. The Panthers also came away with 10 rebounds, 12 assists, and 6 steals.

“Things that went right in the game vs Umass Dartmouth was that we shot the ball 60% from the field and 52% from 3. We had 23 assist as a team, which comes from us loving to play with each other. There weren't too many things that went wrong in the game for us. But we do have to clean up the free throw shooting, which could've stretched the lead a little more,” Simpson commented on the game. He hopes to help his team to the number one spot in the LEC heading into playoffs. “I just need to stay focused and to be a leader for the underclassmen. I know I am a person they look to when things may not be going good. But for the team, were young, so this is a learning experience for most. I give props to the freshmen for holding their own and learning to mature very quick. We have to keep working hard and play together to accomplish our goals for this season.”

Plymouth will host Eastern Connecticut this Saturday for a tip-off at 3 p.m. The Panthers will return to the court January 3rd for a home game against Framingham State after celebrating the holidays.  

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