JOHNSON, Vt. – The Johnson State College men's basketball team defeated Plymouth State University 82-76 in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon.
The Badgers improve to 3-6 (1-3 NAC) on the season while the Panthers go to 5-5 (0-2 LEC).
Johnson jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the game's first three minutes, but Plymouth answered back with a 6-0 spurt to take an 8-7 lead. PSU hit consecutive threes to take a 14-9 lead five minutes in. A layup from Mike Osgood pushed the Plymouth State lead to 20-12 midway through the first half and the teams traded buckets over the next two minutes. Johnson cut into the deficit with a six point burst. Shakeel Irvin (Orlando, Fla.) drained an 18-footer, then pulled down an offensive rebound and got the put-back to cut the deficit to 24-22 with 6:27 left in the half. PSU played with the lead through the remainder of the half, though a steal and layup by Demetrius Slade (Washington, D.C.) cut the margin to 39-34 at the intermission.
Johnson scored the first seven points of the second half to pull in front. Slade sank a three to tie things at 39-39, and Dawda Jallow (Allen, Texas) hit a pair of free throws to give the visitors the lead. Liam Densmore was fouled from beyond the arc and sank all three at the line to pull the Panthers to within two, 52-50, with 12:14 left to play, but Alexander Vetere (Craftsbury, Vt.) caught fire for Johnson, connecting from five feet beyond the arc, hitting a floater in the lane, then sinking another three to put the Badgers ahead 65-56 with 6:27 remaining. After a Jaylen Leroy basket cut the lead to 69-62 with 3:27 to go, Vetere hit from distance again to give Johnson a 72-62 lead with under 3:30 to go.
Leroy answered for Plymouth with a pull-up three from the left wing. After the teams traded free throws, Leroy hit from long range again. Densmore came up with a steal on the inbounds play, then converted the easy basket to cut the margin to 78-76 with 20 seconds remaining. The Badgers missed the front-end of a one-and-one, but came up with the loose ball and sank two free throws. A three-pointer from the Panthers was off the mark and Jeyquan Johnson (Harlem, N.Y.) sealed the Badgers' win with two more free throws.
Points: Marqwon Wynn – 25
Rebounds: Marqwon Wynn – 6
Assists: Demetrius Slade – 3
PLYMOUTH STATE LEADERS
Points: Jaylen Leroy – 35
Rebounds: Kieran Beck – 12
Assists: Mike Osgood – 4
Field Goal %: Plymouth State 43.3% | Johnson 42.6%
3-Point FG %: Plymouth State 27.8% | Johnson 29.0%
Rebounds: Plymouth State 48 | Johnson 33
Assists: Plymouth State 14 | Johnson 10
Turnovers: Plymouth State 24 | Johnson 11
Points off Turnovers: Plymouth State 9 | Johnson 26
Bench Points: Plymouth State 20 | Johnson 31
Johnson will return to action, following the semester break, on January 6th, hosting Green Mountain at 3:00 p.m.