MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Ty Nichols had his seventh career double-double while achieving another milestone as the Keene State College men's basketball team used a late 9-0 surge to seal a 93-88 upset victory over No. 12 Middlebury College on Saturday afternoon at Pepin Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 4-2
- No. 12 Middlebury: 5-1
How It Happened
Nichols' monster game featured 26 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and a steal to lead the Owls. He was one of five double-figure scorers, as James Anozie chipped in 19 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks, while Miguel Prieto had 16 points, four steals and two rebounds. Edwin Ezedonmwen came off the bench to score 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep, and Sidi Diallo had 10 points and six rebounds. Jack Farrell scored 30 points and Max Bosco 21 for Middlebury.
The Panthers got an early three from Griffin Kornaker to go up 5-2, but that proved to be their only lead of the game, as the Owls roared back with a 12-0 run for a nine-point advantage with just over four minutes gone. Diallo's three tied it and, shortly thereafter, two more buckets from him and a Nichols trey put KSC up 14-5. Keene State had an answer every time Middlebury narrowed the lead. After a jumper from Perry DeLorenzo made it 19-16 at the 11:46 mark, the Owls hit back with an 8-2 surge in the next two minutes, finished by a DeVon Beasley three that made it 27-18. The Panthers drew within one (30-29) with 4:20 to go, only to see KSC again pull away over the remainder of the half. Diallo's layup a minute later made it an eight-point game, and the Owls went up by double-digits for the first time (43-33) after an Ezedonmwen three with 39 seconds left. Nichols' buzzer-beating layup had KSC in front 45-35 at the half.
Keene State scored six of the first eight second half points for a game-high 14 point lead, and continued to weather every surge from the hosts after that. A jumper from Ezedonmwen at the 15:48 mark still had the Owls in front 55-42, but Middlebury went on a 10-3 run over the next four minutes to make it a six-point game. They closed within four on two Bosco free throws with 9:15 to go, but Nichols responded with a three-point play following an offensive rebound on the very next possession. A layup from Anozie and two free throws from Nichols with a little over five minutes to go bumped KSC's lead back up to eight, which it remained after another Nichols bucket at the 4:18 mark. Trailing 76-68, the Panthers scored seven straight points to draw within one, but the Owls had a game-deciding response, going on a 9-0 run over the next 1:30. Nichols' trey and Prieto's steal and layup finished the uprising, leaving KSC ahead 85-75 with 1:36 left. Keene State made 8-of-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to finish off the upset victory.
Inside the Paint
- Nichols became the only player active player in NCAA men's basketball, regardless of division, to have at least 1,700 points, 500 rebounds, and 400 assists. He currently has 1,715 points, fourth on KSC's all-time scoring list. He needs 85 more to pass Tyler Kathan '09 for third.
- Keene State improved to 5-6 all-time against Middlebury, last defeating them in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Owls had lost their last three on the road against the Panthers.
- KSC is 1-2 against nationally ranked opponents so far this season. Their last victory against a ranked team before today came in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament when they defeated No. 2 Christopher Newport 68-64 at Babson.
- Keene State returns home to take on Rhode Island College in Little East action on Wednesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm.
- Middlebury goes to SUNY Plattsburgh on Tuesday, December 4. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm.