Posted: Feb 03, 2018
KEENE, N.H. – The Keene State College women's basketball team celebrated Senior Day by picking up a crucial 62-50 win over Rhode Island College at Spaulding Gym on Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 4-17, 2-8 LEC
- Rhode Island College: 7-13, 1-9 LEC
How It Happened
Kenzie Bennett made 6-of-7 shots from the floor and led the Owls with a career high 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Abby Thut also set a career best with 13 points, adding six rebounds and two steals, while Sandi Purcell had nine points, two rebounds and an assist.
Brooke Young made five threes off the bench and paced the Anchorwomen with 17 points. Jordyn Gauvin added 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jessa Rubera had 11 points, thrtee rebounds and a steal.
Rhode Island College sprinted out of the gates, scoring nine of the game's first 11 points. Rubera made a layup and a jumper to cap the surge at the 5:25 mark. The Owls answered quickly, getting a three and layup from Bennett over the next two minutes to trail by two (9-7). KSC took their initial lead of the game (12-11) on a McPadden trey with 2:39 left in the first and they maintained that same lead after one at 16-15. The Owls continued to surge to start the second, scoring the first six points, finished by a layup from Bennett to lead 22-15 at the 7:37 mark. Gauvin scored to stop KSC's run, but the Owls got layups from Jasmin Mitchell and Lilly Shlimon to lead 26-17 with 4:11 left until halftime. Rhode Island College scored the final four points of the half, including a layup from Rubera in the final seconds to trail 26-21 at the break.
KSC charged out of the locker room, scoring the first seven points of the third quarter to lead 33-21. Purcell and Tamra Gonyea sank layups on back-to-back possessions to open the half and, later, a bucket and free throw from Bennett provided the Owls the aforementioned 12-point lead. Young canned one of her five triples to get RIC on the board, but Bennett and Purcell canned treys in succession and a jumper from Thut gave the Owls their largest lead (41-24) halfway through the third quarter. The Anchorwomen amped up the pressure and stormed back, scoring 12 consecutive points in a 2:09 span to trim their deficit to 41-36. Young made two triples and Gauvin three layups during that span.
Another inside bucket from Gauvin in the final seconds of the third quarter got RIC within 43-40 after three. Much like the third quarter, Keene State asserted themselves in the fourth and pulled away. A traditional three point play from Thut and a layup from Hien Thach had the Owls back up 50-42 with 7:52 remaining. Consecutive layups from Purcell a short time later gave KSC their double-digit lead back at 55-42 nearly halfway through the final quarter. The Owls did not let up, matching their largest lead of the contest (17) with two Thut free throws that made it 62-45 with 2:16 remaining. Rhode Island College never threatened again.
In the Paint
- Keene State shot a season high 45% (24-of-53) overall from the field while holding the Anchorwomen to just 32% (20-of-62). KSC connected on 4-of-13 (31%) from deep and RIC 6-of-25 (24%). Both teams were good from the line, as the Owls made 10 of their 12 attempts (83%) and Rhode Island College all four of theirs.
- RIC narrowly won the rebounding battle 39-34, but committed 19 turnovers and was outscored 27-15 off turnovers.
- The Owls dominated the paint, outscoring RIC 34-18.
- Purcell and classmate Deven Freihofer, who has served as the manager for the women's basketball program the last four years, were honored for their contributions to the program. Purcell is one of the Owls' all-time leading scorers, currently in 11th place with 1,194 career points, while sitting in the top 10 in scoring average and three pointers made. The Owls set a school record for wins (24) en route to an ECAC Championship in 2015-16, then rewrote the history books in 2016-17, winning the Owls' first ever Little East Conference tournament championship and going to the NCAA tournament for the third time in school history. Purcell is also the 20th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.
- Keene State, who split the season series with Rhode Island College, has won eight of the last nine games against the Anchorwomen overall.
- Keene State will travel to Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday, February 7 for a 5:30 pm tip-off.
- Rhode Island College remains on the road to visit Western Connecticut State University on the same day at 5:30 pm.