SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Springfield College outscored the Keene State College men's basketball team 26-6 over the final 9:44 of regulation to tie the game and eventually went on to post a 106-101 overtime victory on Tuesday night at Blake Arena after never leading in the game's first 43 minutes. The contest marked KSC's season opener, while the Pride played cross-town foe Western New England University last Friday.
- Keene State: 0-1
- Springfield: 2-0
How It Happened
Miguel Prieto made 8-of-13 from the floor en route to scoring a team-high 21 points for the Owls. He also added five assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block. James Anozie chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus McCarthy finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in his KSC debut. Edwin Ezedonmwen (13 pts., 6 reb.) and newcomer Jeff Hunter (10 pts., 5-6 FG, 1 asst., 1 stl.) also scored in double-figures for the Owls. The Pride's Jake Ross had 41 points on 13-of-24 shooting (13-17 at the free throw line), 12 rebounds, eight assists and six steals, while Heath Post made 11-of-20 shots while pouring in 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two steals. The duo combined for 71 of Springfield's 106 points.
Keene State got off to a flying start, as they scored 12 of the first 14 points to build a double-digit lead not even five minutes in. Springfield got a pair of baskets to draw within six, but that was as close as the home team was for a long time. A three-pointer by Nick Redden at the 12:25 mark put the Owls ahead 21-9, and the visitors continued to pour it on, building the advantage to 32-16 with just under nine minutes to go in the half after layups from Prieto and McCarthy. Prieto went on a five-point scoring binge of his own moments later to make it 41-22, and consecutive baskets down low from Nyzair Rountree and Hunter put Keene State up 20 at the 4:46 mark. Redden buried another triple for a 52-29 edge, but Springfield did close the half by scoring the final 10 points, capped by Post's buzzer beating three. The Owls torched the nets in the first 20 minutes, shooting 63% (22-of-35) and 5-of-10 from long distance.
Leading 52-39 out of the locker room, the Owls initially doused any momentum the Pride had built by getting two layups from Anozie on consecutive possessions to build the lead back to 17. The home team did answer, going on a 15-7 run over the next six minutes to get within single-digits for the first time (63-54) since it was 18-9. That did not last long, as McCarthy made a jumper and Ezedonmwen a layup on the ensuing two possessions, and KSC eventually was up 73-58 with 11:21 left after a pair of free throws by Prieto. A pair of freshmen helped build the lead back to 20 (80-60) moments later, with Redden burying another triple and Hunter converting a pair of layups, the last of which coming with 9:44 to go. Keene State scored only six more points over the remainder of regulation, including none over the final 6:28 as Springfield scored the final 16 points to erase an 86-70 deficit. Five consecutive points from Ross brought the Pride within nine at the 5:12 mark, and Post's basket with 3:24 remaining made it 86-81. A pair of Ross free throws with 42 seconds tied the game and forced overtime, with KSC missing a pair of free throws, a three and a jumper in the final minute.
Prieto's jumper kicked off the scoring in the extra session, and the Owls continued to have the upper hand, as McCarthy's layup with 2:58 on the clock had KSC up 95-92. Springfield got the next two buckets, including a Ross dunk with under two minutes ago, to take their first lead all night at 96-95. Ezedonmwen immediately hit back with a triple to put the Owls back up two, but Ross continued to shine, converting an old-fashioned three point play at the 1:14 mark to put Springfield up one, and the Pride got another basket, this one from Collin Lindsay with under 40 seconds left, to go up 101-98 after KSC turned the ball over. Springfield made five of six free throws over the final 26 seconds, with the Owls' only chance to tie the game after that resulting in a turnover.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State shot 55% (42-of-76) in the contest and outrebounded Springfield 46-35, but was undone by 19 turnovers (to just 10 for the Pride) and 8-of-15 shooting at the foul line.
- The Owls have lost the last three meetings to the Pride after beating them three times in a row before that by an average of 20 points per game.
- The game marked the Owl debuts of Hunter, McCarthy, and Redden.
- KSC travels to Massachusetts again on Saturday (November 16) for a matchup with Salem State University at 1:00 pm.
- Springfield finishes a three-game homestand against Endicott College on Friday, November 15. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm.