Women's Basketball Battles With No. 1 Tufts

Lydia Vital registered 14 points against Plymouth State, as the junior guard went 4-for-19 from the three point line.
Lydia Vital registered 14 points against Plymouth State, as the junior guard went 4-for-19 from the three point line.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -  Despite a 13-point career-high night from junior guard Lydia Vital, the Keene State women's basketball program fell to No. 1 Tufts, 60-38, on Friday evening at Williamson Sports Center on the campus of Skidmore College. Keene State traveled to New York to participate in the two-day Skidmore Invitational, as the Owls suffered their first loss of the season to the Jumbos, the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament runner-up, in the first of two games over two consecutive days.

Records 

  • Keene State: 1-1, 0-0 LEC 
  • Tufts: 1-0, 0-0 NESCAC 

Tale of the Tape  

  • Although the Owls outscored the Jumbos in the second quarter, 12-11, and only tralied by two points in the fourth quarter, Tufts was able to shoot 20-for-60 (33.3%) from the floor overall, while Keene State was held to 13-for-50 (26.0%).
  • Vital was offensively strong throughout the game, shooting 4-for-7 from the field and making 2-for-3 three-pointers, while also chipping in two rebounds and one assist. 
  • Amanda Petrow was also dominate for the Owls, as the senior forward netted nine points and pulled down six rebounds Junior guard Sandi Purcell registered her second consecutive double-digit scoring game with 10 points, as the guard went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. 
  • For the Jumbos, Lauren Dillon scored 10 points and picked up six rebounds, while Michela North added a game-high nine rebounds. 

First Half Highlights 

  • Tufts pulled away from Keene State in the opening minutes, as the Owls could not kickstart their offense, before Petrow knocked down a jumpshot in the seventh minute, but it was not enough of a spark, as Keene State finished the first quarter, down by 15. 
  • The second quarter started off much stronger than the first, as the the Owls were able to rally from two three-pointers within a minute and a half from Rachel Bonnanzio and Vital, which ignited the Keene State offense. 
  • Keene State picked up their efforts to close out the first half, led by eight points from Vital, as the Owls scored more in the final five minutes than the first 15 combined. Vital made a layup with 18 seconds remaining to send the two teams into halftime at a score of 28-14, Tufts. 

Second Half Highlights 

  • Each team traded points in the third quarter, but the Jumbos were able to extend their lead with baskets from Melissa Baptista and North with 7:41 remaining. Vital connected on a three-pointer with 4:26 left, but Tufts continued to widen the gap to finish off the third. 
  • The Owls started the fourth quarter on a high note, as Purcell hit a three-pointer, cutting into the deficit, but the Jumbos responded with a 5-0 run, benefiting with baskets from Katie Martensen and Cailin Harrington. 
  • A timeout with seven and a half minutes remaining, followed by two layups from Petrow that chipped away at the Tufts lead, saw Keene State gaining momentum, but the 4-0 run was quickly cut off by a three-pointer from Jennie Mucciarone. 
  • Keene State put up a fight in the remaining minutes, but were unalbe to inch closer to the Jumbos. 

Up Next 

  • Keene State will aim to quickly bounce back, as the Owls will be back in action tomorrow, Saturday, November 18 to take on Endicott at 2 p.m. during day two of the Skidmore Tournament. 
  • Tufts will take on the host of the tournament, Skidmore, tomorrow at 4 p.m.