KEENE, N.H. - Western Connecticut State University used dominant showings in the second and fourth quarter to hand the Keene State College women's basketball team an 87-60 Little East Conference loss on Wednesday night at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 3-19, 1-13 LEC
- Western Connecticut: 11-11, 5-8 LEC
How It Happened
Lilly Shlimon once again led the Owls, as she made 7-of-11 from the floor to score 19 points. She added six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Tamra Gonyea chipped in a career-high 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go along with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Abby Thut scored eight points off the bench. Genesis Torres led the Colonials with 22 points.
The teams exchanged leads in the opening quarter, as KSC got a three from Gonyea and a layup from Emily McPadden in a game-opening 9-2 run over the first four minutes that saw four different people score. WestConn immediately answered with a 9-0 burst of their own for their first lead of the game (11-9) at the 3:28 mark, but the Owls nudged out in front 16-14 after one on Thut's jumper with 30 seconds to go. It was all Colonials in the second quarter, as they tallied the first 13 points, finishing with threes from Hannah Maghini and Torres for a 27-16 edge at the 5:33 mark. KSC did get within seven a minute later, but the visitors then proceeded to run off 14 of the next 16 points for a commanding 41-22 halftime lead. The Colonials shot 60% and made 5-of-9 from distance in the period, while the Owls were 3-of-11 from the floor.
The third quarter proved to be the exact opposite, as Keene State opened on an 11-0 burst while holding WCSU scoreless for over five minutes. Shlimon scored the first five points, including a triple, before Gonyea scored the next six as the Owls were within 41-33 at the 4:50 mark. Torres finally got the Colonials on the board, but the Owls hit back with the next six points, finishing with another Gonyea bucket, to slice the deficit to five. She was at it again in the final two minutes, as her layup and two free throws on consecutive trips made it a 51-47 game with 45 seconds left, but WestConn broke out to a nine-point lead (56-47) after scoring five points in the final 35 seconds. Keene State shot a sizzling 64% (9-of-14) in the third while outscoring the visitors 25-15, 12 of those points coming from Gonyea. The wild swings continued in the fourth quarter, and it was the Colonials who scored the initial 10 points and ran away from there. Torres' triple in the opening minute made it 61-47, and WestConn scored five more after that before Samira Sangare's jumper with 6:30 to go put KSC on the board in the period (66-49). The Colonials did not let up, as 71% shooting from the floor and 56% from long range in the last 10 minutes helped them cruise to a win after the Owls sliced a 19-point halftime deficit to four in the third quarter.
Inside the Paint
- Gonyea's career-high point total surpasses her previous best mark of 16 at Middlebury on December 29. The sophomore has scored double-digit points in two of the last three games.
- Shlimon continues to shine, as she has now shot at least 60% from the field in five of the last seven games. She has scored in double figures 12 times this season.
- Keene State dropped both regular season meetings against WestConn this season after winning five of the previous six.
- The Owls shot 44% (24-of-54) in the contest, but were undone by the visitors making 13-of-31 (42%) from long range.
- Keene State goes to Rhode Island College for their final road game of the season on Saturday, February 9. Tip-off is at 1:00 pm.
- WestConn travels east across Connecticut to take on Eastern Connecticut State University on the same day and time.