PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Leading by as much as 16 at the half men's basketball (6-17, 0-12 Little East) was unable to hang on as Curtis Arsenault drained what was the game-winning 3-pointer with 41 seconds left on the clock to give Plymouth State University (12-11, 6-6 Little East) a 71-70 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon.
On the next possession and with the shot clock turned off the Beacons moved the ball up the court and nearly had the ball taken away by the Panthers defense. Luckily they managed to keep possession and with just one second on the clock Tyquan Ekejiuba (Randolph, Mass.) took what would have been the game-winner. The ball sailed into the air and hit the back of the iron bouncing off to the right of the backboard clinching the victory for the Panthers.
The game-winning basket by the Panthers capped off a second half comeback which saw them trail by as much as 16 (45-29) points following the halftime break. Plymouth State originally cut the Beacons lead to six as they went on a 10-0 run to start the second half.
UMass Boston would keep their distance from Plymouth State with key baskets by Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) and Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.), however a deep 3-pointer by Logan Kesty put the Panthers to within four with 12:44 left to play. The Beacons countered the Kesty trey with a three of their own from Gregory Young (Boston, Mass.) to push UMB's lead to 51-44.
Two minutes later Young drained another long field goal to make it a 10 point game with just over 10 minutes to play in the back-and-forth contest. Perhaps the turning point of the contest came when Panthers cut the Beacons lead to one (61-69) following a quick 6-0 run.
Fighting to keep their lead intact the Beacons got a huge three from Young to make it a four point affair with 4:17 left in the contest. Arsenault then cut it two on a lay-up with less than four to play. With one last push the UMass extended their lead back to six thanks in part to some clutch free throw shooting by Coulter and Joseph.
Following a pair of free throws from Joseph, the Panthers got a huge boost on their very next possession as Kesty drained a 3-pointer to make it 68-65 with 2:24 left to play. The Beacons would again get another huge basket this time from Ekejiuba with 1:51 to go.
Unfortunately the Panthers would score the final six points, three of which came at the charity strip from Skevas. Following Skevas' last free throw the Beacons would in bound the ball trying to kill of the clock. As the shot clock winded down Joseph drove to the basket, but just as he was about to go up he made contact with a Panthers player and was whistled for the offensive foul. That call would then set-up what would be the biggest basket of the game as Arsenault hit the three in front of his own bench to give the Panthers the victory.
On the day Joseph led all players with a game-high 19 points as the junior was 5-for-9 from the field and 9-for-10 at the line. He also finished with eight rebounds in 39 minutes of playing time. Young finished second with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, which included three 3-pointers (3-5). The junior also managed five boards and three assists. Coulter dropped in 11 points and had two rebounds before fouling out of the contest.
The Panthers were led by Skevas' 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting, 7-for-10 at the line. He also dished out eight assists as the game's top playmaker and had four rebounds. Off the bench Kesty finished with 13 points, while Arsenault contributed 11 points with his one 3-pointer coming on the game-winning shot.
UMass Boston shot 51.1% from the field in Saturday's loss while behind the arc they finished 5-for-9 (55.6%). The Panthers managed just three more rebounds then the Beacons (33-30) and finished the contest shooting 45.0% from the field (27-60).
The Beacons return to action on Tuesday when they host Southern Maine at 7:30 p.m. in the final regular season home game.