PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Keene State College men's basketball team used a 24-6 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to open up a 30-point advantage as they routed Rhode Island College 79-58 in Little East Conference action at The Murray Center on Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 9-4, 3-0 LEC
- Rhode Island College: 2-10, 0-3 LEC
How It Happened
Ty Nichols led the Owls, scoring 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting (3-of-6 from three). He added three rebounds, two assists and a steal. James Anozie had 15 points, nine rebounds and a block. Miguel Prieto added 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals, while Dizel Wright had nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals for Keene State, who assisted on 20 of 34 made baskets.
CJ Donaldson paced Rhode Island College with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Grant Gills had 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Malcolm Smith also had 11 points, while adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Justin Campbell had eight points and a game-high ten rebounds.
The Anchormen scored the first five points, but Keene State then quickly took control with a 22-5 run over the next ten minutes. Sidi Diallo's layup at the 15:33 mark gave the Owls their initial lead (6-5) and, later, a bucket and free throw from Nichols put KSC up 11-8. The Owls kept pushing, going up 19-10 at the 8:41 mark after layups from Nichols, Anozie and Prieto. A triple from Nichols capped the run and gave KSC a 22-10 lead. Another three, this one from DeVon Beasley, and a bucket inside from Prieto put the Owls up 31-15, their largest lead of the half, at the 5:38 mark. RIC closed on a 7-2 run, including a three from Roosevelt Shider, in the final minute to trail 34-22 at halftime.
The Owls surged out of the break and put the game away quickly. Anozie and Prieto scored inside and, after a layup from Smith, Nichols canned a three to put KSC up 41-24 with 18:06 to go. An old fashioned three-point play from Nichols a few minutes later put the lead over 20 (47-26). Two buckets from Beasley sandwiched around a layup from Nichols powered the lead up to 58-28 with 13:17 to go. RIC trimmed it to 63-44 on a three from Smith with 8:07 to go, but Carlos Ovalle canned a jumper and Anozie canned a layup to put KSC back up 67-47. Keene State cruised from there, never letting the Anchormen get closer than 17 points. A three from Josh DeGrenier, his first collegiate points, punctuated the win.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State shot 55% (34-of-62) in snapping a two-game slide. They made 6-of-17 from three (35%) and had 20 assists to just 14 turnovers. Six different people recorded a helper. Rhode Island College shot just 36% (24-of-66). They made 7-of-18 from long range (39%).
- The Anchormen won the rebounding battle 42-37, but the Owls dominated the paint, outscoring RIC 53-30.
- Keene State was very successful pushing the pace, as they scored 23 fastbreak points to RIC's four.
- The Owls have beaten the Anchormen in six of the last seven meetings overall.
- Keene State is 3-0 to begin league play for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
- Keene State will travel to Western Connecticut on Wednesday, January 10 for a 4:00 pm tip-off.
- Rhode Island College has a road game at Southern Maine on the same day at 7:30 pm.