PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Keene State College women's basketball team got off to a strong start and led throughout, completing a season sweep of Plymouth State University with a 63-50 Little East Conference victory on Wednesday night at Foley Gym.
- Keene State: 6-18, 4-9 LEC
- Plymouth State: 6-18, 2-11 LEC
How It Happened
Sandi Purcell made four threes and had 16 points, two assists and two steals to lead the Owls. Lilly Shlimon came off the bench to add 13 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and a steal, while Kenzie Bennett chipped in 11 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Plymouth was led by Elizabeth McLaughlin's 17 points, seven rebounds and one block. Cassidy Emerson chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, two steals and an assist, while Debra Morrill rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Keene State took an early 7-4 advantage over the first three minutes of the contest on the strength of a three from Purcell and a layup from Hien Thach. The scoring slowed considerably over much of the remainder of the first quarter, but the Owls maintained a 12-8 advantage after Shlimon knocked down three free throws with 30 seconds remaining. KSC led 14-10 after one. The Owls scored six of the first eight points of the second quarter, taking a 20-12 lead at the 8:27 mark after layups from Shlimon and Emily McPadden. A triple from Jasmin Mitchell a few minutes later gave KSC their first double-digit lead at 26-16. Plymouth scored two consecutive buckets to get within six, but a trey from Purcell and a jumper from Abby Thut had the lead back up to 31-20 with 4:59 left in the quarter. KSC led by as many as 13 and got two free throws from Shlimon with just over a minute remaining to lead 38-26 at halftime.
The Owls never let the Panthers back into the game after the break, getting buckets from Thach and Thut to lead 42-28 with just over four minutes gone in the third quarter. A trey from Purcell at the 3:21 mark gave the Owls a 15-point advantage (45-30). Plymouth got within 11 at 47-36 after a basket from Mary Beitzel and a jumper from Emerson, but KSC maintained a 12-point lead after three. It was more of the same in the final quarter, as layups from Meghan D'Amours and Bennett made it a 54-38 game with 5:25 remaining. Another D'Amours layup provided the Owls their largest lead of the contest (56-38) at the 4:36 mark. Keene State's lead remained at 15 until a late flurry from Plymouth saw the Panthers get within 60-50 with less than a minute remaining. A triple from Shlimon set the final margin.
In the Paint
- Keene State shot 43% (23-of-53) in the contest, while Plymouth State hit 42% (20-of-48) of their shots. KSC connected on 6-of-21 from distance and 11-of-15 from the free throw line, while the Panthers were 3-of-13 from long range and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe.
- The Owls got 26 points from their reserves, while the Panthers got just four.
- Plymouth narrowly won the rebounding battle 30-29, but Keene State got 10 offensive rebounds and outscored Plymouth 16-8 in second chance points.
- It was the Owls' 18th consecutive win against PSU. KSC leads the all-time series 37-7.
- Playoff Permutations: With the win, Keene State is in a fifth place tie with Western Connecticut at 4-9 in the conference. Rhode Island College and Plymouth State each lost, falling to 2-11 in the league, meaning that KSC is guaranteed to finish no worse than sixth in the conference. The Owls will need to defeat league leading UMass Dartmouth on Saturday to claim the fifth seed. If both teams tie at 5-9, Keene State will be the No. 5 seed by virtue of a better record against UMass Dartmouth; if both teams are tied at 4-10, Western Conn. State will be the No. 5 seed due to their better record against Eastern Conn. State.
- Keene State will close out the regular season with a visit to league-leading UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, February 17 at 1:00 pm.
- Plymouth State remains home to host Rhode Island College on the same day for a 1:00 pm tip-off.