GORHAM, Maine – Senior Donne Agossou (Auburn, Maine/Lewiston) scored 16 points and had seven rebounds to lead five players in double-figures as the University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the Plymouth State University Panthers 71-67 in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game Thursday night at Fifield Court.
The win is the third straight for the Huskies who improve to 5-17 overall and 3-8 in the Little East Conference. Plymouth State is now 9-13 overall and 1-10 in the LEC.
Agossou was 8-for-9 from the field for his team-high total. Freshman DJ Anderson (Houston, Texas/Davis) added 15 points, six rebound and two assists. Senior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy), junior Grayson Waterman (Berwick, Maine/Noble) and sophomore Keenan Hendricks (Owls Head, Maine/Oceanside) each scored 11 points. Junior Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) had a game-high 11 rebounds.
PSU junior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) led all scorers with 25 points on 12-of-23 shooting. He added seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) sank four three-pointers en route to 18 points, adding seven rebounds, while junior Chase Soares (Falmouth, Mass.) tossed in 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.
After giving up a game-opening traditional three-point play to Osgood for a quick 3-0 PSU lead, Southern Maine scored the next 11 points unanswered to assume an 11-3 lead with 17:04 left in the first and never trailed the rest of the way. Three players scored in the Huskies’ opening surge led by five points from Anderson, and a three from McCue. The Panthers cut the Huskies’ advantage to a single possession six times in the first half, but each time USM was able to answer. A three from PSU freshman Sam Bonney-Liles (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) made it 35-32 USM with 2:34 to play, but USM outscored the Panthers 6-2 to close the half and take a 41-34 lead at the break.
In the second, USM swelled its lead to 12, 59-47, on an Agossou mid-court steal and breakaway layup with 9:35 to play only to see the Panthers again rally the game back to a single possession. After the Agossou play, PSU used an 11-3 run to trail 61-58 with 5:00 on the clock. Osgood and Leroy each scored four points in the run.
USM countered with a 6-0 run of its own, including four points from Waterman for a 67-58 lead with 2:43 left, but were unable to shut the door on the Panthers who executed another run, 7-0, to against pull to within a basket capped by a steal and a layup from Osgood for a 67-65 USM lead with 12 seconds to play. With the Panthers forced to foul, USM was able to close the game out on the free throw line as Waterman and McCue combined for a perfect 4-for-4 from the line for the 71-67 final.
Southern Maine travels to Rhode Island College on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) for a Little East Conference game.