Strong Shooting In Second Half Propels Women's Basketball Past Plymouth State

Lydia Vital registered 14 points against Plymouth State, as the junior guard went 4-for-19 from the three point line.
Lydia Vital registered 14 points against Plymouth State, as the junior guard went 4-for-19 from the three point line.
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KEENE, N.H. - Sophomore guard Emily McPadden poured in 14 points in the final quarter, including shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, to help propel the Keene State women's basketball program past Plymouth State, 73-54, in a Little East Conference contest on Wednesday evening in Spaulding Gymnasium.


  • Keene State: 15-7, 8-3 LEC
  • Plymouth State: 5-15, 2-9 LEC 


"We were down in the first half, going into halftime, and I think we just wanted to come out and have more energy than them. They definitely worked harder than us in the first half, but I think we were able to out work them in the second half." --Sophomore guard Emily McPadden 

"First of all, Plymouth out played us in the first half. They wanted it a little bit more than us. The second half we talked about playing better defense and I think we did. We obviously eliminated some of our mistakes from the first half as well. As for the players, Steph D'Annolfo does a lot of small things that don't always show and I think she did a good job of that today, while Josie Amerson was finding a way to get it done. Other people stepped up tonight too, as Kenzie Bennett and Rachel Bonnanzio, our freshman forwards, played well, and obviously Emily McPadden lit it up." -- Head Coach Keith Boucher

How It Happened 

McPadden finished off the night with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Stephanie D'Annolfo also led the way for Keene State, as the senior forward tallied her fifth double double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Lydia Vital chipped in 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while senior forward Amanda Petrow pulled down 10 boards.

Kayla Wyland paced the Panthers with 12 points, followed by DeAsia 'Ace' Lawrence with 11 points. Annaliese Schmidt tallied a double double with a game high 14 rebounds and 10 points, as Maddy Beatrice dished out seven assists off the bench.  

It was a fast paced start, as each team raced out to six points apiece with 6:39 on the clock, before the Owls more than doubled their lead in 1:20 off a trey from Vital for a score of 13-6, Keene State. The Panthers pulled within two with 3:29 to go, before McPadden made a jump shot for a four-point Keene State lead. Back-to-back baskets by Schmidt tied it up at 15 all with less than a minute remaining in the quarter, but freshman forward Rachel Bonnanzio responded with a buzzer beater layup to put the Owls on top, 17-15. 

The Panthers earned their first lead of the game with a three pointer from Lawrence to open the second quarter, as Keene State continued to trail throughout the middle of the stanza. The Owls were down as much as seven at 4:05 as Savannah Miller made a basket from the three-point line to make it 30-23, Plymouth State. Keene State responded with a 8-0 run, ignited by back-to-back three-pointers from Vital, to grab the lead by one point, 31-30, with 2:15 left, but a final basket from Cassidy Emerson gave the Panthers the advantage going into halftime, 32-31. 

The Owls earned the lead and the first five points of the third quarter with a basket from D'Annolfo and a trey from first-year forward Kenzie Bennett, as Keene State took a 36-32 lead. A three-pointer from Leah Swanson cut the Panthers' deficit to one with 7:29 on the clock, but the Owls would not give up the edge, as Bennett and D'Annolfo combined again for five points for a 41-35 Keene State advantage with 5:59 remaining in the third. A jumper by Maddy Beatrice brought the Panthers within four, but a layup from Vital in the final seconds put Keene State up 47-41 going into the fourth. 

The Panthers would come as close as four, 49-45, in the final quarter, but McPadden ignited offensively with 8:25 to go, scoring her first of four three-pointers. After Plymouth State recieved a jumper from Lawerence to make it a five-point game, the Owls went on a 10-0 run for a double-digit lead, beginning with a jumper from McPadden with 6:33 on the clock. Keene State held the Panthers to only four more points, as the Owls' lead ballooned in the remaining minutes. 

 Inside the Paint

  • The Owls hold a 35-7 all-time series with the Panthers and have won the past 16 consecutive matchups.
  • Keene State held a 49-43 advantage on the glass over Plymouth State, and turned the Panthers' 13 turnovers into 15 points. 
  • The Owls shot 40.5% (30-for-74) from the field, while limiting the Panthers to 33.9% (20-for-59). 
  • D'Annolfo has scored in double-digits in 10 straight games for the Owls and was named to the NEWBA Honor Roll earlier this week. 

Up Next 

  • Keene State will host Western Connecticut State on Saturday, February 11th in Spaulding Gymnasium at 1:00 p.m. for Faculty and Staff Day. 
  • Plymouth State will head to UMass Boston on Saturday for their second of three straight road games with tip-off at 1:00 p.m.