BENNINGTON, Vt.--Southern Vermont College closed the game on a 20-6 run to deal visiting Keene State College a 73-67 loss at the Mountaineer Athletic Center on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
- Keene State: 0-1
- Southern Vermont: 1-0
How it Happened
Ty Nichols and Ben Olson each scored 18 points, while Miguel Prieto chipped in 12 off the bench, but the Owls struggled from distance, making just two of 18 attempts from beyond the arc and were outrebounded 44-33. Sidi Diallo had a team high 11 rebounds for Keene State.
After a slow start, Keene State pulled out to an 8-3 lead when Nichols found Olson for a basket, then rebounded Andre Hodo's miss and went coast-to-coast for the layup. A jumper by Prieto gave the Owls a 14-13 lead and Olson put back a miss for a 16-13 advantage before Prieto's three pointer made it 19-13. Neither team led by more than four the rest of the half before Prieto converted a three point play with 3:05 left for a 32-25 lead. The Owls took a 34-29 lead into halftime and led 39-33 when Prieto found Olson underneath for a layup with 16:43 left.
Jake Dunkley's layup with 15:43 on the clock gave Keene State its biggest lead at 43-33, and the Owls never let the Mountaineers closer than five for much of the rest of the half. Dunkley knocked down a three with 8:27 left for a 61-53 lead, but SVC got a three from Tyler McLeod on the next possession to get back within five, part of a 9-0 run that gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the half.
Nichols' bucket with 3:51 left gave Keene State a 65-64 lead, but the Owls went cold from the field, missing their next four shots while the Mountaineers went up 69-65 on Kyle DePollar's three with 1:07 to go. After Josh Borders went 1-for-2 from the line with 46 ticks on the clock, Prieto got the Owls within three with a basket with 36 seconds left, but the Owls would not score again. Southern Vermont went 3-for-4 from the line in the final seconds to seal it while a three from Brandon Hurst fell short with 18 seconds to go.
In the Paint
- It was the first ever loss for Keene State against Southern Vermont. The Owls had been victorious in their previous six meetings with the Mountaineers.
- Keene State fell in its season opening game for the first time since 2013; the Owls had won three straight season openers, including last year's curtain raiser against Southern Vermont in Keene.
- Olson's 18 points not only represented a new career high, but nearly tripled his point total for the entire 2016-17 season.
- Keene State travels to Plattsburgh State on Saturday, November 18, with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
- The Mountaineers head to in-state foe Johnson State on Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m.