PLYMOUTH, NH - Sophomore forward Jauch Green (Hartford, CT) netted a game-high 21 points, while junior guard Marcus Brown (New Haven, CT) chipped in with 19 as the Western men's basketball team fell at LEC opponent Plymouth State, 72-63, in its regular season finale on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Colonials notch the No. 8 seed in the LEC Championship Tournament and will travel to top-seeded host Eastern on Tuesday for a quarterfinal matchup at 7:30 p.m.
Senior guard Ernie Johnson led the Panthers with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while classmate forward Jack Preston contributed a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds).
The hosts led from start to finish as Western closed the gap to a single point on several occasions but was unable to seize the lead. "Another slow start doomed us. We fought back and missed a layup for the lead in the second half and couldn't make that final push once again," said Colonials head coach Jason Harlow following the defeat.
Plymouth began the contest with a 15-3 run which ended with a dunk from sophomore forward Mike Osgood. Western countered with a flurry of its own, cutting the advantage to 24-22 when senior forward Tre'Von Perry (Waterbury, CT) buried a jumper. Senior guard Curtis Arsenault sank a shot from beyond-the-arc for the Panthers just before halftime, extending the lead to 36-28.
The Colonials once again chipped away, slicing it to 47-46 when sophomore center Dimitrios Tsesmetzsis (Hopewell Junction, NY) tickled the twine off a feed from rookie forward Jon Mowatt (Waterbury, CT) with 12:55 remaining. That was as close as Western would get as the Panthers continued to slowly build the lead for the rest of the period.
With the loss, the Colonials wrapped up the regular season slate at 12-12 overall and 4-10 in league play, while Plymouth evened its overall record at 12-12 and 6-8 in the conference.