The Keene State College vs. Plymouth State University rivalry was renewed in men’s basketball when the Owls got a big 83-77 home win on Wednesday.
The Owls started the game on an 8-0 lead with Keene State junior guards DeVon Beasley and Jaylen Franklin both hitting 3-pointers. Beasley kept the momentum going a few minutes later when he scored six unanswered points to make it an 18-7 game within the first eight minutes.
The momentum didn’t stop there. Keene was soon able to get out to a 17-point lead which would end up being their largest of the game.
One player who helped them get there was Keene State junior center James Anozie, who scored six points in this time frame in his chase to get to 1,000 career points.
Although Anozie didn’t reach the 1,000 point mark before halftime, falling one point short of his milestone, the Owls were able to keep the lead going into halftime.
However, Plymouth State’s sophomore guard Dante Rivera hit a buzzer beater going into the half, which started the Panthers climb back.
During the 15 minute break, the crowd was treated to performances by the New Hampshire Dance Institute, the National-qualifying Keene State Dance Team and the Monadnock High School pep band.
The Panthers tried to keep the scoring up, trimming Keene’s lead to six. Once again the star of the night, Beasley, hit another 3-pointer to bring the score back to 45-36 in favor of the Owls. The Owls were able to get the 17 point lead back with help from Anozie scoring his 1,000th point at the free-throw line.
Keene State kept the foot on the gas with a huge dunk by Keene State junior guard Sidi Diallo, but from here on out it was all Panthers.
Plymouth State went on a quick 9-0 burst to give them their first lead of the game with a minute and a half left.
The Owls couldn’t respond initially and the Panthers were able to make it a 3-point game with just over 20 seconds in regulation. Beasley stole the victory out of Plymouth’s hands, however, nailing a 3-pointer with only seconds left, sending the game to overtime.
Overtime was all Owls as they got a 77-73 lead within the five extra minutes. It was another Beasley three that was the dagger for Keene State. Plymouth State was held without a field goal in the five minute overtime, and all their points came from free throws.
The Owls snapped the Panthers six game win streak with the 83-77 win.
Keene State’s next men’s basketball game is against the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs on Wednesday, February 12, at 7 p.m. at Dartmouth.
Want to watch the Owls in action for yourself? Next home game for the men’s team is Saturday, February 15, at 3 p.m. against the Rhode Island College Anchormen.
Tyler DaRosa can be contacted