KEENE, N.H. – Eastern Connecticut State University used a big third quarter to pull away and hand the Keene State College women's basketball team a 59-45 Little East Conference loss on Wednesday evening at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 2-14, 0-6 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut: 5-10, 3-3 LEC
How It Happened
Lilly Shlimon led the Owls with 10 points while adding a block. Emily McPadden added seven points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Hien Thach also scored seven points. Jordyn Burke had a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with four points, two assists and one steal.
Kelly Reardon and Mya Villard each had double-doubles for Eastern Connecticut. Reardon recorded 15 points, ten rebounds and eight assists, while Villard had 12 points and ten rebounds. Sabrina LeMere added 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Kelsey Santagata rounded out the double-figure scorers with ten points, while also chipping in seven rebounds and four assists for the Warriors, who snapped a three-game league losing streak.
Eastern Connecticut ran out to a 9-2 advantage over the first five minutes of the contest, getting a three from LeMere to begin the game and jumpers from Santagata and Reardon to extend the lead a few minutes later. The Owls responded, scoring the next six straight, including a Kenzie Bennett three to trail by one (9-8) with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter. LeMere canned another triple to stop the surge, but the Owls tied the game with a minute left in the quarter on two Shlimon free throws. Julie Jordan made a free throw in the final seconds to give ECSU a 13-12 lead after one. A layup from Jasmin Mitchell with 7:41 left until halftime gave Keene State their first lead of the game (14-13). The teams traded baskets for several minutes after that. The Owls got a deep shot from McPadden to go back up 19-18 only to see Reardon respond with one of her own with 3:24 to go. The Warriors then went to Villard on consecutive possessions inside and built a 25-19 advantage. Sophie Bushey's first collegiate field goal, a three with six seconds left in the half, trimmed KSC's deficit to 25-22 going into the break.
Much like the first half, Eastern got a triple from LeMere to start the second and, on the next possession, a jumper from Santagata to lead 30-22. A bucket inside from Burke with 8:14 to go got KSC within five (30-25), but the Warriors scored the next eight consecutive points, capped by jumpers from Reardon and Santagata to lead 38-25 with 2:02 left in the third quarter. The Warriors maintained that same advantage, 42-29, going in to the fourth quarter. ECSU continued to pull away, starting the fourth on a 9-0 run. Reardon made a three and, on the next two possessions, layups from LeMere and Villard made it 51-29 with 7:44 left. Shlimon's three with 5:32 to go made it 51-34, but the Warriors scored the next four and never looked back.
In the Paint
- Eastern Connecticut won the rebounding battle 45-37, including 27-18 in the second half.
- The Warriors connected on 40% (23-of-57) from the field and made 6-of-15 (40%) from behind the arc, while the Owls made 26% (16-of-61) of their shots from the floor and 7-of-30 from three-point range.
- Keene State recorded eight steals and forced 18 ECSU turnovers, but only cashed in on those to the tune of 14 points.
- It was the first meeting between the two teams since last year's Little East Tournament championship game, where the Owls prevailed 71-58 in Willimantic for their first ever conference tournament championship.
- Keene State will travel to UMass Boston on Saturday, January 20 for a 1:00 pm start.
- Eastern Connecticut hosts Rhode Island College on the same day and time.