WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - With 39 points from beyond the arc and a career-best 27 points from junior guard Sandi Purcell, the Keene State women's basketball program put forth a season-high 13-of-21 shooting performance from the three-point line to seal their sixth straight win, as the Owls defeated Eastern Connecticut State, 80-51, on Wednesday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 17-7, 10-3 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut State: 17-7, 11-2 LEC
How It Happened
Purcell led all players with a career-high 27 points, as the junior guard went 7-for-9 from the three point line and 9-of-16 from the field, while adding three assists and four steals. Sophomore guard Emily McPadden tallied 18 points off the bench, converting 7-for-11 from the field. Senior forward Stephanie D'Annolfo and sophomore forward Josie Amerson pulled down a team-high seven boards apiece, while D'Annolfo also dished out five assists.
For the Warriors, Mya Villard added a team-high 14 points with five rebounds, while Jordyn Nappi and Sabrina LeMere each chipped in 11 points. Julia DePoi ended with eight rebounds in the loss.
Keene State led wire to wire, as the visitors tallied the first five points off a layup from D'Annolfo and a trey from Purcell. Eastern Connecticut State closed the gap to four off of two converted free throws from Villard with 1:29 on the clock, but freshman forward Rachel Bonnanzio hit a three pointer for the final tally of the quarter, as the Owls held a 11-4 advantage at the end of one.
The Owls opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 18-6 with 6:44 to go, capped off by two free throws from senior forward Amanda Petrow. Keene State continued to push their advantage towards the end of the second stanza, as Purcell connected on her third three-pointer of the game with 2:54 left for a 27-13 Keene State edge. The Owls closed out the quarter on a 10-0 run, beginning with a layup from freshman guard Hien Thach with 1:41 remaining, as Keene State held the lead, 39-16, at the half.
Keene State did not let up offensively in the remaining half, as the Owls outscored the Warriors during the third and fourth quarters. Keene State earned its largest lead of the game with 31 points in the third quarter after back-to-back three-pointers and a jump shot from McPadden were capped by a free throw from D'Annolfo for a 58-27 advantage with 1:09 remaining. In the fourth quarter, Purcell kept the momentum, as the junior went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Eastern Connecticut State would come as close as 23 points in the remaining minutes, as Keene State eased to a 80-51 victory.
Inside The Paint
- Keene State shot a season high 45.9% (28-61) from the field and put forth a season-best 61.9% (13-21) performance from beyond the arc.
- This is the first time the Owls have beaten the Warriors since February 11, 2015.
- The 29-point edge is the largest margin of victory by Keene State against Eastern Connecticut State, while the Owls' 80 points scored is the most ever over the Warriors .
- With the win, Keene State finishes off the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record against Division III team in away games.
- This is the first time the Owls have won six consecutive games this season, having won five straight in the beginning of January.
- Keene State cracked the NCAA Division III Regional Rankings for the first time this season today, as the Owls are ranked eighth in the Northeast and the Warriors are placed fifth.
- With tonight's win, the Owls are one step closer to locking in the No. 2 seed for the second straight year in the upcoming Little East Conference Championship tournament, which will begin on February 21st. With a win on Saturday, the Owls will clinch the spot.
- The Owls will celebrate Senior Day by honoring D'Annolfo and Petrow on Saturday, February 18th, as Keene State will return to Spaulding Gymnasium for a 1 p.m. tilt against Rhode Island College.
- The Warrios will host UMass Boston in the final regular season contest on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.