Michelle Berthiaume

Equinox Staff


The typical college basketball schedule consists of about 30 games, and the important thing for the Keene State College men’s basketball team this season lies in its ability to focus on each game, one frame at a time. Last weekends focus: the KSC Tip-Off Tournament.

“The guys were very excited to play at home, in front of the home crowd and all of the students. But two games in two days is a lot. Especially after our first game against Colby-Sawyer last Tuesday. That’s a quick turnaround for a lot of preparation,” Men’s Basketball Coach Robert Colbert said.

“We don’t just roll the ball out and say, ‘Let’s go play.’ We are working on all kinds of X’s and O’s and scouting reports. And the guys have to learn all that stuff. It’s tough sometimes,” he said.

On top of learning the “X’s and O’s” and studying the scouting reports, in order to do well in games, the team must also play well in practice. If the team competes well with each other on the practice court, they know what to do in games.

Luckily, Junior Nicco DeMasco said the team is doing what they need to do in practice. “We are getting after it every night in practice. And that’s important.”

In addition, Demasco also said, “We won our first regular season game against Colby Sawyer and I definitely think that had to do with how much work we put in at practice.”

“I think we are a very talented group. We haven’t completely come together as one unit yet, but everyone’s working really hard in practices. So I am very encouraged to see what the future may hold,” Colbert said.

The Owls came in 1-0 after their first regular-season win over Colby-Sawyer. They played their first game against the University of New England.

The Nor’easters didn’t pose much of a threat to the Owls and they took home the win, 87-50.

Senior Derek D’Amours led all scorers with 18 points in 16 minutes on the floor. The Owls also saw great games from junior Eric Fazio, 10 points in 17 minutes, and junior Rashad Wright, 10 points in 15 minutes.

After their win in the first game, they gained a berth in the 12th annual KSC Tip-Off Tournament championship on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

They faced off against the St. Lawrence Saints. The Owls played a game for the ages in this one.

The lead changed at least 10 times in the first half but a buzzer beating three pointer by Geoffrey Woodberry at the end of the half sparked an offensive surge that lasted the rest of the game.

D’Amours led the Owls, with 33 points in his 25 minutes of playing time. He shot six of 10 from the three-point line and did a great job keeping the hometown crowd on  its feet for most of the second half.

The Owls also had major contributions from Eric Fazio, 11 points in 18 minutes, and Wright, eight points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.

The Owls took home the win and their second straight KSC Tip-Off Tournament championship with a win, 75-54.

After the Tip-Off Tournament, the Owls focused on getting ready for Little East Conference play.

“I think the next week and a half will really prepare us for LEC play,” Colbert said. “We are excited about where we were picked in the pre-season rankings at number two. It’s nice to be recognized at that level. But that’s not where we want to finish. We want to climb one more step and get to first place.”

“We are not where we need to be. We aren’t at 100% yet. But we are going to make it happen. We didn’t like the way it ended last year, going out to RIC like that,” Demasco said. “They’re projecting them winning over us again this year but we are using that as a confidence boost and motivation to play our hardest and prove everybody wrong.”

The competition the Owls face in Little East Conference play is something they don’t see in their ‘warm-up’ games.

But they use those games as a practice court for conference play.

“Our conference is the third best conference in the country so we have to get ready for that. It’s going to be good competition every night so we have to bring our A game every time we hit the court,” sophomore point guard Ryan Martin said. “It’s going to be tough. But we just need to win all of our games before LEC play starts and put ourselves in good position.”

The men’s basketball team will put its hard work to the test when it begins its LEC campaign against UMass Boston on Dec. 3, 2011 in the Spaulding Gymnasium at 3 p.m.


Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at mberthiaume@ksc.mailcruiser.com[singlepic id=624 w=320 h=240 float=right]

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