KEENE, N.H. – Middlebury College used a strong first half to gain a double-digit advantage and never let the Keene State College women's basketball team back in the game as the Owls fell 71-51 on Wednesday evening at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 3-17
- Middlebury: 15-5
How It Happened
Sandi Purcell led KSC with 14 points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds. Emily McPadden came off the bench to add 13 points, a team-high six rebounds, two assists and one steal, while Hien Thach made all three of her attempts from behind the arc en route to nine points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Colleen Caveney made 8 of her 12 shots from the field, leading Middlebury with 19 points. She added five rebounds and three assists. Kira Waldman added 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Alex Huffman had eight points, a game-high seven rebounds and four assists.
Both offenses got off to a slow start, but the Owls got a three from Thach and led 4-1 at the 6:15 mark. Middlebury answered by scoring the next ten points, capped by two Caveney jumpers and two free throws from Catherine Harrison to lead 11-4 with 3:20 left in the first quarter. The Owls got a triple from Lilly Shlimon in the final minute, but Huffman answered with a two and Middlebury led 13-7 after one. The Panthers quickly pulled away, getting a layup from Caveney and a three from Waldman to lead 20-7 early in the second quarter. The run extended to 14 consecutive points after Huffman's three gave Middlebury a 25-7 lead. KSC got a trey from Purcell sandwiched around two others from McPadden to trim the lead to single digits (25-16). The Panthers extended the advantage to 18 after a three from Caveney and foul shot from Harrison with 2:11 left in the half. Tamra Gonyea and Caveney exchanged threes in the final minute and the Panthers took a 38-24 lead into the break.
A traditional three-point play from Purcell with 6:19 left in the third quarter got Keene State within 42-28 and, later, a trey from her made it 45-31 at the 4:41 mark. The deficit hovered around that margin for much of the remainder of the quarter, but Waldman canned a triple in the final seconds that gave Middlebury a 54-36 lead after three. The Panthers extended the lead to 22 early in the final quarter. A free throw from McPadden and a layup from Shlimon drew KSC within 64-47 with 5:18 to go, but Middlebury scored the next seven points to end any hope of a comeback.
In the Paint
- Middlebury connected on 25-of-56 (45%) from the floor and 9-of-19 (47%) from three-point land, while Keene State shot just 31% (16-of-51) overall and 11-of-32 (34%) from deep. The Panthers made 12-of-14 (86%) at the free throw line, while the Owls connected on 8-of-14 (57%).
- Middlebury dominated the glass 46-22 and held KSC without a second chance point in the game.
- The road team has won the last two matchups in this series. Keene State defeated the Panthers 59-37 last year.
- It was the Owls' final non-conference game of the season.
- Keene State gets back into Little East Conference action, hosting Rhode Island College on Saturday, February 3 at 1:00 pm.
- Middlebury has a NESCAC contest at No. 3 Bowdoin College on Friday, February 2 at 7:00 pm.