LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – Plymouth State connected on 55 percent of its field goal attempts Thursday en route to a 67-56 win over Lyndon Thursday at Stannard Gymnasium.
With the win, the Panthers improved to 5-7 overall while the Hornets drop to 2-8.
"We simply didn't knock down our shots," said Lyndon Head Coach Chris Dorsey. "Our field goal percentage (35) wasn't enough to allow us to compete."
The game was close until the 8:36 mark of the opening quarter when Plymouth went on a 10-2 run that was fueled by four Hornet turnovers. By intermission, the Panthers had built a 39-29 advantage.
"We have a few new additions to the team and now we're trying to find the chemistry needed to lead to success," said Dorsey. "The future looks bright for us and we'll get there, but right now we need to get better both offensively and defensively."
The Hornets played more consistently in the second half thanks to the play of freshmen John Hamilton (Alameda, Calif.) and Rontrez Purcell (Washington, D.C.), who were playing in the first game of their collegiate careers. Both score 12 points in the contest as the Hornets managed to whittle the Plymouth advantage down to 46-40 with 11:37 left to play.
"John and Rontrez helped us out offensively," said Dorsey. "They did exactly what we need them to do and that's what we need to get out of them every night."
A jumper by Ernie Johnson and two free throws by Alex Burt pushed the Plymouth lead back to double-digits but Lyndon refused to fold. Two free throws by Rob Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) pulled the Hornets to with seven with 7:17 left to play, but the Panthers, behind the play of Michael Elliott-Baltimore, managed to hold Lyndon off long enough to secure their fifth win of the season.
Jack Preston had 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shot for Plymouth while Burt chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Johnson added 11 points and two steals and Elliott-Baltimore had 10 points, three rebounds and three rebounds.
David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) had 17 points, two rebounds and one steal for the Hornets while Purcell collected 12 points, seven rebounds and one steal in 16 minutes of play. Hamilton had 12 points and two rebounds in the loss and George Carle (Central Falls, R.I.) grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Lyndon returns to the court Saturday when it resumes North Atlantic Conference play with a road game at arch-rival Johnson State.
"We understand the conference games are more important and we need to be in the top six to get to playoffs," said Dorsey. "We need to let this game go, learn from it and get ready for Johnson."
Game time for Saturday's matchup with the Badgers is 3 p.m.
By BILL JOHNSON, Assistant Athletic Director/SID