Western CT Defeats Owls 86-83 To Win LEC Title
KEENE, N.H. 2/23/02 - Tournament outstanding player Kevin Matthews (Ossining, N.Y.) had a game high 24 points to lead second seed Western Connecticut State University to a 86-83 upset victory over top seed Keene State in the Little East Conference Men's Basketball Championship played Saturday at Spaulding Gym.
With the victory, Western CT (20-6) receives the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. It will be the Colonials eighth trip to the Tournament. Keene State (22-4) will await a possible at-large NCAA bird or an invitation to the ECAC Tournament. Keene State has now come up short in three trips to the LEC Championship.
Matthews had 13 first half points to lead WCSU to a 41-28 lead at the break. The Colonials would extend their advantage early in the second half, taking their biggest lead of 19 points (50-31) with 17:36 to play.
The Owls made several runs at the Colonials. A three-pointer by Dave Stantial (Beverly, MA) cut the lead to six points (59-53) with 9:22 to go. After Matthews pushed WCSU's lead back up to 14 points (73-59), KSC came back one again. Chris Urquhart (Salem, NH) hit one of his four three-pointers in the second half to draw the Owls to within three (84-81) with 35 seconds to play.