CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Keene State College men's basketball team scored the final six points of the contest, coming from behind to stun previously undefeated Massachusetts Institute of Technology 67-63 on Saturday afternoon at the Rockwell Cage.
- Keene State: 2-2
- MIT: 3-1
How It Happened
Ty Nichols led the Owls with 15 points, including a go-ahead three in the final minute. He added seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Sidi Diallo had 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal, while Dizel Wright added nine points, a career-high 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals, and James Anozie chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Hamilton Forsythe led the Engineers with 17 points off the bench. Ian Hinkley added 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Bradley Jomard, who had scored in double-figures in each of MIT's first three games, scored nine points in this one, but added eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks.
MIT, which had won all three games by double figures, including a 93-83 upset at No. 6 Tufts in their last outing, rolled out to a 9-0 advantage in the first two minutes on the back of three triples, two by Hinkley. Keene State finally got on the board, but MIT did not slow down. Another Hinkley trey made it 16-6 and, after a Cameron Korb triple, the Engineers were up 21-9 halfway through the first. The Owls sprung to life from there, going on an extended 18-6 surge to take their first lead of the game (27-26) on a Jordan Haywood jumper with 2:53 remaining until the break. But MIT responded by rattling off the next seven points for a 33-27 advantage. The Engineers led 34-30 at the break.
Much like MIT did in the first half, the Owls came flying out of the locker room to start the second half, scoring the first nine points, capped by another Haywood three for a 39-34 advantage. Later, layups from Diallo and Jake Dunkley provided Keene State with a 49-40 lead with 10:44 to go. The Owls still led 53-44, but MIT hit three from behind the arc, two from Forsythe, in quick succession to close the deficit to 54-53 with seven minutes to go. It was a back-and-forth contest from there. After Jomard's bucket gave MIT the lead back (56-54), Dunkley swished a three, only to have Forsythe answer with a jumper. Later, Forsythe hit two free throws for a 61-57 Engineer lead with 2:41 to go, but Nichols was then fouled on consecutive possessions and made all four free throws to tie the game at 61. MIT went to Hinkley inside for a 63-61 lead with 1:29 to go, but Nichols made two critical shots thereafter to rescue the Owls. His layup with 59 ticks left tied it at 63-63 and, after Forsythe missed a three, his triple with 22 seconds left put the Owls up 66-63. On the ensuing possession, Forsythe missed again from deep, and a free throw from Wright in the final ten seconds effectively put the game away.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls, who have struggled taking care of the ball and shooting from three point land so far this season, reversed both of those trends in the win. KSC made 7-of-17 from three (41%) and turned the ball over just 13 times, with only three in the second half.
- Keene State controlled the glass, outrebounding MIT 43-34. The offensive glass was particularly decisive, with KSC getting 16 offensive rebounds, including seven alone from Wright. Wright's 15 rebounds surpassed his previous career high of ten, which he collected three previous times, including last January against Eastern Connecticut.
- MIT, which received votes in the preseason d3hoops.com Top 25 poll, won their first three games by an average of 26 points and scored 80 or more points in each game. Keene State was also receiving votes in the d3hoops.com poll.
- This matchup marked the first ever head-to-head meeting in men's basketball between the two schools.
- Keene State finally gets to play their home opener after four straight on the road, as they host Lasell on Tuesday, November 28 at 7:00 pm.
- MIT will take on their second straight Little East opponent, traveling to UMass-Boston on the same night and same time.