KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State women's basketball program held off Western Connecticut State's comeback bid in the fourth quarter to win their fifth straight contest, as the Owls defeated the Colonials, 65-62, in a Little East Conference (LEC) contest on Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 16-7, 9-3 LEC
- Western Connecticut State: 13-10, 5-7 LEC
"Coach made a point that our offensive rebounds from last game helped us get extra shots that we needed and more looks, so that was one of our goals as a team today. We wanted to go in and crash the boards hard. As for the end of the game, everybody looked at each other and you just knew that your teammates had your back, which is what kept us together in the win today." -- Sophomore forward Josie Amerson
"I thought we did a good job of dribble, drive, and kick back basketball with not being selfish to get the ball out to our shooters. I think we also have a good combination with Josie and Amanda. Looking forward at Eastern Connecticut State, we have our work cut out with us, as they don't have any concievable weakness on the court. We are going to have to go down there and play very well." -- Head Coach Keith Boucher
How It Happened
Emily McPadden had another impressive showing from the three-point line, as the sophomore guard converted 6-for-10 from beyond the arc and shot an overall 7-for-12 from the field for 22 total points. Senior forward Stephanie D'Annolfo added 12 points with four rebounds, three assists and three steals, while junior guard Sandi Purcell rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points. Senior forward Amanda Petrow and sophomore forward Josie Amerson each pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Kaitlyn LaBonte had a standout game for the Colonials, as the junior made 8-of-12 from the three-point line, en route to registering 26 points. Emily Dobson followed with 10 points and Samantha Smith added eight points with seven rebounds.
Knotched at nine apiece, the Colonials gained a four-point edge after Smith made a trey with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter. The Owls responded with a layup from Petrow and a basket from beyond the arc from freshman guard Hein Thach, dished out by D'Annolfo, for a one-point lead with two minutes to go. Two free throws for the Western Connecticut State and one free throw from Keene State finished off the quarter all tied up at 17.
Back and forth baskets opened up the second quarter to make it 23-21 with 7:14 to go and an Owls lead, before Keene State went on to limit Western Connecticut State to only four more points in the stanza. The Owls went on a 11-0 run, courtesy of baskets from D'Annolfo, Purcell, McPadden and Thach to lead Keene State into the half with a 34-21 advantage.
In the beginning of the third, freshman forward Kenzie Bennett hit a three-pointer to keep the Keene State edge, but the Colonials would score the next seven straight points to cut their deficit to six, 37-31, Keene State. A layup by Smith kept Western Connecticut State in reach of the Owls, 42-35, with 5:15 remaining, but McPadden rattled off eight straight points to give Keene State a 15-point cushion.
The Colonials' strong shooting from the three point line pulled the visitors within eight with 4:58 on the clock in the fourth, but Purcell converted a basket beyond the arc to hold the 11 point lead, 61-50, Keene State. LaBonte then provided the offensive spark, as the junior poured in a 4-for-4 performance from the three-point line to bring Western Connecticut State within one, 63-62, with 1:20 to go.
With 47 seconds on the clock, Amerson grabbed a key offensive rebound to keep Keene State possession, but the Colonials were able to regain the ball with 11 seconds to go and charge down the court, before a final second steal at the top of the key from Purcell denied the visitors from scoring. Junior guard Lydia Vital finished off the tally for the Owls with two made free throws to seal the three-point win, 65-62.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls have now won the past four meetings against the Colonials.
- Keene State turned Western Connecticut State's 14 turnovers into 25 points.
- This is the second five-game winning streak for the Owls in the 2016-2017 season.
- Over the past two games, McPadden has netted 10-for-16 (62.5%) from the three-point line and tied her career high in today's game with six three-pointers made.
- Keene State will travel to Eastern Connecticut State for their final away game of the regular season on Wednesday, February 15th at 5:30 p.m.
- Western Connecticut State will host Rhode Island College in their final home game on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.