KEENE, N.H. - After a tightly contested fourth quarter that saw four ties and six lead changes, the Keene State women's basketball program fell in the final seconds of a Little East Conference (LEC) contest to Eastern Connecticut State, 63-62, on Wednesday evening in Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 11-7, 5-3 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut: 12-5, 7-1 LEC
How It Happened
Senior forward Stephanie D'Annolfo notched her second double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while dishing out a game-high six assists. Junior guard Lydia Vital also tallied 16 points on 6-for-10 (60.0%) from the field and senior forward Amanda Petrow pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Jordyn Nappi went a perfect 13-of-13 from the foul line and added three field goals to lead all players with 19 points, followed by Kelsey Santagata with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting (50.0%). Julia DePoi added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite a cold start on both sides, the Owls jumped out to a 11-4 lead with a D'Annolfo layup with 5:54 on the clock, before the Warriors made back-to-back three-pointers to come within one. Notched at 12 apiece with 3:00 minutes to go, Keene State extended their lead to six with six straight points, before Eastern Connecticut State answered with a layup for the final tally of the quarter, 18-14, Keene State.
The two teams were tied up at 21 each with 7:07 remaining in the second quarter, but back-to-back three pointers from Vital and junior guard Sandi Purcell put the Owls on top, 29-25. Santagata responded with a layup to cut the Warriors' deficit to two, but freshman forward Kenzie Bennett scored a layup with 3:31 left to give Keene State a 31-27 advantage. The Owls maintained their four point lead with a layup from D'Annolfo, but a three-point conversion from Nappi in the final minute sent the two teams into halftime with a slight Keene State edge, 33-32.
The Warriors began the third quarter with a 11-2 run to earn their largest lead yet of the game, 43-35, before D'Annolfo converted two free throws and Vital added a layup to come within four with 3:57 on the clock. Two free throws from Nappi at 1:43 gave the Warriors a five point lead, 47-42, but the Owls did not back down, as D'Annolfo fed a ball to McPadden for a trey and a last second layup from Vital tied the game at 47 all at the end of three.
Knotted at 57 apiece with 3:08 to go in the fourth quarter, Keene State recaptured the lead with two made free throws from sophomore forward Josie Amerson. Eastern Connecticut State responded with a basket beyond the arc from Santagata, who then converted a free throw with 32 seconds on the clock to give the Warriors a two-point advantage, 61-59. With 20 seconds to go, Vital fired up the right side of the lane for a crucial layup to tie the game for the eighth time, followed by a steal by Purcell, which forced a foul by Eastern Connecticut State. Vital converted one of two free throws with seven seconds on the clock for the lead, 62-61, Keene State, but the Warriors were fouled in the remaining seconds, as Nappi stepped up to line and sealed two free throws with 2.7 remaining to flip the lead in favor of the visitors, 63-62, and for the win.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State held a slight edge on the glass, 40-39, over Eastern.
- The Owls shot 36.8% (7-of-19) from the three-point line, as the Warriors shot 29.4% (5-for-17) from beyond the arc.
- With tonight's win, Eastern has now won the past four consecutive games against Keene State.
- The Owls will travel to UMass Boston for a Little East Conference (LEC) matchup on Saturday, January 28th at 1:00 p.m.
- The Warriors will host Rhode Island College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.