WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The Keene State College women's basketball team was unable to hold on to an early double-digit lead, falling to Eastern Connecticut State University 60-42 in Little East action on Wednesday evening at Geissler Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 4-18, 2-9 LEC
- Eastern Connecticut: 10-12, 7-4 LEC
How It Happened
Sandi Purcell led the Owls with 11 points, four rebounds, four steals and an assist. Tamra Gonyea added six points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal, while Kenzie Bennett and Lilly Shlimon also each scored six points.
Mya Villard made 8-of-10 shots from the floor and paced Eastern Connecticut with 21 points and seven rebounds. Sabrina LeMere added 13 points, five rebounds and a steal, while Kelly Reardon added a game-high 11 rebounds, nine points and three assists.
The Owls got off to a blazing start, shooting 53% in the first quarter en route to a double-digit lead. Jumpers from Purcell and Hien Thach in the early going provided KSC a 8-2 lead. The Owls continued to add to the lead, getting a triple from Emily McPadden and another layup from Purcell to lead 13-2 with 2:45 left in the first. The lead further expanded, getting as high as 16 (18-2) after a trey from Shlimon with just over a minute left in the quarter. A string of 16 consecutive points for KSC was snapped on Julie Jordan's layup, but the Owls still led 18-6 after one. Eastern Connecticut steadily chipped away in the second, getting threes from LeMere and Reardon to trail just 20-14 with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. KSC's lead got as low as four, but Sandi Purcell banked in a deep three at the halftime buzzer to give the Owls a 25-18 lead going into the break.
The Warriors came storming out of the locker room, scoring nine consecutive points to take their first lead of the game (27-25). They got three buckets from Villard and a triple from LeMere during the surge. Keene State tied the game at 27, but ECSU went on another run, this one 10-2 to take a 37-29 advantage with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter. Shlimon immediately canned a trey to make it a five-point game, but the Warriors got a bucket and three free throws in the final minute to lead 42-32 at the end of three. Two buckets inside from Villard within the first three minutes of the final quarter extended the run to 12-2 and provided the Warriors a 49-34 lead. KSC rattled off five straight to get within 11 and, later got with 10 (52-42) on a layup from Gonyea at the 3:38 mark, but the Warriors put the game away with numerous free throws down the stretch.
In the Paint
- Keene State shot 17-of-55 (31%) overall from the field, while the ECSU shot at a 38% (17-of-44) clip. Neither team utilized the three ball much, with the Owls making just 4-of-22 (18%) and the Warriors 3-of-9 (33%). Eastern connected on 23-of-31 (74%) from the free throw line and KSC 4-of-8 (50%).
- Eastern Connecticut held a wide 42-25 advantage on the boards, including 10-5 on the offensive end. The Warriors also outscored KSC 24-16 in the paint.
- Keene State had defeated Eastern on their home floor twice last year, but fell in both matchups with the Warriors this season.
- Purcell now sits in sole posession of 10th place on Keene State's all-time scoring charts, with 1,205. She passed Bri Barnes '07, and needs just nine more to move past Courtney Cirillo '12 for ninth.
- Keene State will host Western Connecticut State University in their final home game of the season on Saturday, February 10 at 1:00 pm.
- Eastern Connecticut will travel to league-leading UMass Dartmouth on the same day for a 1:00 pm tip-off.