BOSTON, Mass. – Ty Nichols scored 30 points for the second time in three games as the Keene State College men's basketball team bounced back from a loss Wednesday, leading from start to finish in an 82-76 win over UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center.
- Keene State: 12-5, 6-1 LEC
- UMass Boston: 9-9, 3-4 LEC
How It Happened
After scoring 30 against UMass Dartmouth last Saturday, Nichols was at it again today, as he made 9-of-16 from the field and 10-of-13 from the free throw line en route to the total. He added eight rebounds, two assists and a block. The 30 points was again two shy of his career high 32, set last year in an NCAA Tournament win at No. 5 Ramapo. James Anozie recorded his third double-double in the last four games, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with a steal and a block. DeVon Beasley added 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Michael Boyd poured in 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field to lead the Beacons. Charlie Mitchell had 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal off the bench, while fellow reserve Dasan Cinelli had 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Dan Powers had seven rebounds, six points, six assists, three steals and two blocks.
The Owls fed Anozie down low for two layups and got a basket and free throw from Sidi Diallo to build a 7-0 advantage over the first few minutes of the contest. The Beacons scored five of the next seven to close within 9-5, but Nichols scored five quick points and Anozie made another layup to give the Owls a double-digit lead (16-5). The lead grew to as many as 13 on two different occasions, but UMB got a triple and a layup from Boyd along with two layups from Mitchell to slice the lead to 23-20 at the 8:05 mark. Nichols' deep shot a few minutes later put the Owls back up seven and his layup with 3:39 to go maintained that same lead (31-24). The teams traded baskets over the remainder of the half, and another bucket from Nichols in the final two minutes, his 16th and 17th points of the half provided KSC a 36-28 halftime advantage.
Diallo's bucket to start the second half put the Owls back up double-figures, but the Beacons quickly answered, trimming the lead to just 39-36 on a Boyd three at the 18:06 mark. It was still a three-point game when Wright canned a trey and, on the next possession, drove to the basket for a layup to restore the KSC lead back to eight (46-38). The Beacons refused to go away, getting a layup from Cinelli and a free throw from Powers to make it a 48-43 game, but Kyle Santoro canned a three to kick start a big run for the Owls. His shot made it 51-43 and, later, inside buckets from Anozie and Ben Olson made it 56-43 with 10:38 left. Nichols' free throw at the 8:09 mark gave the Owls a 16-point lead, and it was his jumper that gave KSC a 68-51 lead, their largest, with 6:44 to go. Two threes from Mitchell and a layup from Boyd in less than a minute quickly reduced the lead to nine (68-59), but Beasley and Wright got out in transition to score five quick points that made it 74-59 with 4:10 left. Trailing 76-63, the Beacons had one last run in them. Two free throws from Mitchell got the lead under 10 again, and a trey from Iser Barnes made it 77-71 with 1:42 left. Nichols' two free throws with 44 seconds left made it a three possession game, but Boyd fired back with a quick three to keep UMass Boston in it. Diallo made one of two from the line, Barnes missed a three and Beasley then sank two free throws as the Owls held on for the win.
In the Paint
- Keene State swept the season series from UMass Boston, winning 85-45 in December at Spaulding Gym. The Owls have won five straight overall against the Beacons.
- The Owls shot 49% (28-of-57) from the field in the contest, while holding UMass Boston to just 38% (26-of-69). KSC connected on 4-of-14 (29%) from long distance, while the Beacons made 10-of-30 (33%). The Owls were 22-of-30 (73%) from the charity stripe and UMB 14-of-17 (82%).
- Keene State dominated the glass 46-29 and outscored the Beacons 48-20 in the paint.
- The Owls improved to 6-3 on the road, their most wins away from Keene since 2014-15 when they went 9-6.
- Nichols now has 1,315 career points, moving him past Ryan Martin '13 into 11th place all-time on the KSC scoring charts. He needs 62 points to pass Sean Sullivan '06 and move into the top 10.
- Keene State returns home and will host rival Plymouth State University on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:30 pm.
- UMass Boston entertains the University of Southern Maine on the same day and time.