BOSTON, Mass.—Keene State College raced out to 32-20 halftime lead and held off UMass Boston women's basketball's late charge, to earn a season-split Saturday afternoon.
Keene State College 66, UMass Boston 55
(UMass Boston 8-11, Little East 4-5)
(Keene State College 12-7, Little East 6-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sophomore Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass.) led the late charge, as she finished with a career-high 15 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter alone. Burston played 39 of 40 minutes and went 5-of-9 from the field.
Keene State senior Stephanie D'Annolfo paced the Owls with a team-high 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Lydia Vital, Sandi Purcell and Emily McPadden each recorded 11 points, with Vital notching a game-high four steals.
The Owls jumped out to a 6-1 lead early and never trailed in a high-tempo first quarter.
Keene State picked up the intensity in the second quarter and pushed their advantage out to 15 points (29-14) with 7:50 to go in the half. After Josie Amerson beat the buzzer to close out the first quarter, Vital knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and D'Annolfo and Rachel Bonnanzio tacked on two points each for a 12-0 run.
UMass Boston immediately countered with a 5-0 run, before the two teams traded free throws heading into the break.
The Beacons cut the deficit to six on two occasions in the third quarter, only to be stymied by the Owls hot shooting at the free throw line. Keene State went 11-for-12 from the line, compared to just 2-of-13 from the field in the quarter, to preserve their 12-point advantage.
UMass Boston finally got back into the game with a 12-0 run of their own. Trailing 54-40 with 7:53 to play, Burston, Edwards and Kelsey combined to score 12 straight to make it a 54-52 game with 4:06 left.
The visitors answered with back-to-back layups from Amanda Petrow and D'Annolfo and an elbow-line jumper from McPadden to push the lead back to eight. Burston knocked down a lay-in to make it a two-possession game, but the Beacons missed three-straight 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Free throw shooting continues to be an Achilles hell for the Beacons as of late. UMass Boston finished 16-of-28 (57.1 percent), while the Owls ended the day 23-of-28 (82.1 percent).
- UMass Boston shot 43.9 percent from the field (18-of-41), while holding Keene State to an 18-of-55 showing (32.7 percent). The two teams reversed the trend from distance, with Keene State hitting 7-of-25 (28 percent) from 3-point land, while holding the Beacons to a 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) showing.
- Keene State held a huge 39-28 edge on the boards and an 18-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.
- Freshman Maritza Scott (Revere, Mass.) made her first collegiate start in the loss. She finished with eight points and five rebounds.
- With the win, Keene State snapped a two-game losing streak to the Beacons. The Owls improved to 36-10 all-time against the Beacons.
UMass Boston will host #21 Bowdoin College on Tuesday in the final game of their four-game homestand.