BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Ryan Martin's 23 points and Anthony Mariano's 22 points the Owls of Keene State College defeated men's basketball by the final of 91-82 Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gym in a Little East Conference match-up.
With Saturday's loss the Beacons fell to 9-10 overall, 3-6 in the Little East Conference. The Owls improved to 11-7, 6-3 in the conference with Saturday's win.
Martin led the Owl's starting five with his 6-for-11 shooting from the field and impressive 9-for-10 showing at the line. Mariano came off the bench to finish 5-for-11 from the floor and 10-for-12 from the charity strip. Both players dropped in two 3-pointers each to cap off the Owls 42.1% showing from behind the arc.
UMass was once again led by sophomore guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.) as the shooter closed out the afternoon with a game-high 26 points to cap off a solid week. From the field, he was 9-for-18, which included a pair of three points, while at the line the Florida native who is shooting well over 90% finished a perfect 6-for-6.
Freshman Jerard Mayes (Boston, Mass.) and senior Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Boston, Mass.) combined for 24 points respectively, while Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) came off the bench to finish with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting and a 5-for-5 performance at the free throw line. Moise also collected seven boards to match Mayes, while junior Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) recorded a game-best 12 boards, while also blocking two shots.
As a squad UMB recovered from a tough first half to shoot over 54% in the second, to finally close out the afternoon shooting 43.8% (28-for-64). However the Owls were consistent throughout Saturday's contest as they shot over 44% in both halves, to close out the day with a 45.5 field goal percentage (30-for-66). They also shot 8-for-19 from distance and 23-for-30 at the line. UMB struggled from behind the arc as they finished 3-for-20, while at the line they went 23-for-33.
On the glass, the aggressive Beacons out-rebounded their conference rivals 45-36, with 14 of those boards coming on the offensive side of the court.
From the opening jump the Owls never once trailed in the final regular season meeting between them and UMB. The game remained close in the opening minutes, but a huge run by Keene State made it a 12-point game by the 10:50 mark. Mariano dropped in a 3-pointer to give his squad the largest lead of the game at the time. UMass would manage to cut the deficit to six, but Keene would once again use another quick offensive outburst to push their lead back to double-figures and ended the first 20 minutes of play leading by 14 (45-31).
After the intermission Keene State continued to hit their shots and made the contest a one-sided affair by the midway point. Despite trailing by as much as 23 points, the Beacons did not back down. Their no quit attitude allowed them to cut the Owls lead down to 11 with 5:28 left in the contest.
Helping to fuel the major turnaround was a 19-6 run which made it 76-65 in favor of the visitors. However Keene State managed to hold off the driving Beacons with help from their solid shooting at the line.
Men's Basketball returns to action next Saturday when they host Rhode Island College at 3 p.m.