KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College women's basketball team fell victim to a big third quarter by UMass Boston before eventually falling 56-47 in the Little East Conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 1-6, 0-1 LEC
- UMass Boston: 6-1, 1-0 LEC
How It Happened
Sandi Purcell and Lilly Shlimon led Keene State, scoring 13 points each. Purcell added five rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Shlimon also had four rebounds, two steals and an assist. Jordyn Burke had seven points, nine rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist.
Joie Grassi was the only Beacon in double-figures, but she scored an efficient 22 points (4-for-4 from three, 10-for-12 from the free throw line) to go along with four rebounds and two assists. Raven Kelsey had eight points, ten rebounds, four steals, an assist and a block, while Katie Mathieu also scored eight points.
The Beacons came out hot, scoring ten of the game's first 14 points over the first four minutes. Grassi and Kelsey each canned a triple during that span. However, the Beacons did not score again in the quarter, allowing Keene State to score 11 straight points. Purcell's three with 3:35 left in the quarter made it 10-9 and, after a Beacons turnover, two free throws from Abby Thut gave KSC their first lead of the game at 11-10. Shlimon's layup in the final ten seconds put Keene State up 15-10 after one. Neither side could find the basket in the early-going of the second quarter until Purcell made a shot from behind the arc for an 18-10 lead with 6:44 to go. The Beacons snapped KSC's extended 14-0 run with Megan Dixon's layup at the 5:05 mark, but the Owls extended the lead over the remainder of the half. Two free throws from Purcell and a triple from Emily McPadden in the final minute helped give the Owls a 29-18 halftime advantage.
UMass Boston came storming out of the halftime break, scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter, capped by a Grassi three to tie the game at 29. They didn't stop there, though, and took a 34-29 advantage on a deep shot from Fulton. Purcell's free throw got the Owls on the board in the quarter with 3:06 to go, but the Beacons scored the next ten points and led 44-30 after three. Grassi scored seven of those ten, including another three. A jumper from Tahjai Mazyck and a Grassi triple helped UMB extend their lead to 49-32 with 8:23 to go in the game. Keene State did try to get back into the game with a late 9-1 run that cut the deficit to 54-45 with 44 seconds left, but ran out of time.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State shot just 27% (15-of-56) in the contest, including 5-for-21 from behind the arc (24%). The Beacons made 32% of their attempts from the field (18-of-56) and 8-of-25 from deep. Both teams were about even at the free throw line, with UMB connecting on 12-of-15 (80%) and the Owls 12-of-16 (75%). Half of the Beacons' triples and 10 of their 12 free throws were made by Grassi.
- Keene State narrowly won the rebounding battle, 42-41, and committed 15 turnovers to UMB's 16.
- After not winning in Keene until 2012, the Beacons have now won at Spaulding Gym in back-to-back seasons, including last year's 88-78 double overtime victory. The Owls still lead the all-time series 36-11.
- Keene State goes back out on the road, making a trip to MCLA on Tuesday, December 5 at 6:00 pm.
- UMass Boston will host Framingham State on the same day at 5:30 pm.