CASTLETON, Vt. - James Anozie made 8-of-10 from the field and scored a career-high 23 points as the Keene State College men's basketball team led from wire-to-wire in an 80-59 thumping of Castleton University in Little East action Saturday afternoon at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 15-7, 10-3 LEC
- Castleton: 3-19, 0-13 LEC
How It Happened
Anozie also made 7-of-10 from the free throw line while adding seven rebounds and a block to his afternoon. Ty Nichols chipped in 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Tony Harris had 11 points, a game-high eight rebounds, one steal and one block. Miguel Prieto had 10 points, a team-best five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Denis LeCours made 4-of-6 threes and scored 14 points for Castleton.
The Owls opened the game with a 7-2 run over the first 4:38 and were in command throughout. A layup from Sidi Diallo and a dunk from Nyzair Rountree off a feed from Ben Olson helped KSC stretch the lead to 11-4 at the 12:47 mark and, a little over two minutes later, a three-point play from Anozie made it 16-8. The scoring slowed from there, but a steal and flush by Edwin Ezedonmwen had the Owls up double-digits (23-13) at the 5:56 mark. The Spartans hung around using the three-ball, as Eric Shaw connected twice to keep the home team within 28-21 with less than three minutes remaining in the half, but KSC got another steal and dunk, this one from Harris, to lead 32-22 at the break. The Owls shot 47% in the opening half, but just 1-of-11 from long range. KSC did have a commanding 22-10 edge on the glass.
Ezedonmwen canned a trey on Keene State's opening possession of the second half as the visitors scored the first five points to lead 37-22 and Castleton never got closer than 12 after that. An inside bucket from Anozie and a triple from Prieto on consecutive possessions ballooned the Owls' lead to 44-27 at the 17:02 mark. The Spartans briefly got back in the game with an 8-3 run over the next three minutes, but two threes from Harris on consecutive trips had KSC in front 57-40 with 12 minutes to go. Leading 64-51 with 6:35 remaining, the Owls put their foot on the pedal from there, as a triple from Kyle Santoro sparked a 16-3 run that made it a game-high 26 point lead (80-54) with less than two minutes to go. Keene State heated up from long range, making 6-of-13 after halftime while shooting 50% overall in the stanza. Castleton also shot 50% in the second half, but was outscored 18-5 at the free throw line.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls have now won seven games in a row and nine of ten overall. Their last winning streak of this length came last season from November 25 to December 29.
- Harris has combined for 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting (4-of-7 from deep) in the last two games, while adding 14 rebounds.
- Keene State swept the season series from Castleton and has won six straight head-to-head matchups.
- The Owls' win coupled with Eastern Connecticut State University's 69-68 home loss to UMass Dartmouth moves KSC within a half-game of the Warriors for first place in the conference. Keene State is 10-3, while ECSU is 10-2. UMass Dartmouth and Western Connecticut State University, who face each other on Monday night in Danbury, Conn., are each 8-3.
- KSC has three key regular season games remaining, starting with a home matchup against aforementioned Western Connecticut on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 pm.
- Castleton travels to the University of Southern Maine next Saturday, February 9 for a 3:00 pm tip-off.