WILLIMANTIC, Conn.--The Keene State College men's basketball team was held to a season low in points in a 74-53 loss to Eastern Connecticut State University at Geissler Gym on Wednesday night.
- Keene State: 16-8, 9-4 LEC
- Eastern Conn. State: 16-8, 10-3 LEC
How it Happened
Keene State struggled from the field, making just 16 of 59 field goal attempts (27.1%), including shooting 5-for-26 in the second half (19.2%). Jaquel Edwards led the Owls with 16 points, while Ty Nichols added 10. Matt Ozzella led all players with a game high 12 rebounds.
Hugh Lindo posted a double-double for the Warriors, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Carlos Gonzalez was the only other ECSU player in double-figures, netting 13 points.
Lindo had a hand in the first three ECSU baskets, setting up a layup from David Canny and a three from Gonzalez before powering home a dunk for an early 7-0 lead. The senior converted a three point play with 15:13 left in the half as the Warriors led 14-7, but Keene State scored 11 of the next 18 points, getting within 21-18 on Nichols' three pointer with 9:43 left in the half.
Eastern Connecticut took control with a 15-3 run over the next five minutes, capped by a pair of free throws by Lindo. Gonzalez' jumper with 1:12 left upped the lead to 44-27, but Edwards knocked down a pair of three point shots in the final 50 seconds to send the Owls into the break down 11.
A basket from Edwards and a free throw by Jimmy Layman pulled KSC within seven (46-39) with 15:57 left in the half, but the Warriors pulled away, outscoring KSC 17-3 over the next seven minutes to lead by as many as 25.
In the Paint
- Despite the loss, the Owls still have a shot at claiming the No. 1 seed in the Little East Conference tournament. Keene State will need to win their game against Rhode Island College on Saturday, and have the Warriors lose to UMass Boston. Since the teams split the season series, the comparative results could come down to Plymouth State, where the Owls swept both matchups from their Granite State rivals, and the Warriors went 1-1 against the Panthers.
- If the Warriors win their game against UMass Boston, they will clinch their fourth straight LEC regular season championship. A KSC win would lock them into the No. 2 seed. The Owls will host an LEC quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.
- It was the first time Keene State was held below 60 points this season.
- Keene State will host Rhode Island College in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Before the game, seniors Lucas Hammel, Matt Ozzella, Rodney Jean-Marie, Jaquel Edwards, and Jeff Lunn, as well as graduate student Nick Gagliolo, will be honored for their contributions to the program.
- Eastern Connecticut State will welcome UMass Boston to town on the same day.