Zachary Winn

Equinox Staff


The Keene State Lady Owls basketball team cruised to a 75-33 victory Saturday over conference foe UMass-Boston to improve to an overall record of 13-5 on the year.

The Owls built an early 10-2 lead behind senior starter Nikki Cote’s strong play, and never looked back.

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Cote had 11 first half points and finished with 13 points to lead the team.

“Nikki really opened up the floor for us by penetrating early,” Head Coach Keith Boucher said, of the 5-foot guard’s ability to drive to the basket and create passing lanes.

The Lady Owls set the tone with smart shot selection and raced to a 20-point lead by halftime.

Boucher said he was pleased with his team’s response to UMass-Boston’s zone defense.

“We shared the ball today, we moved the ball really well against that zone,” Boucher said.

The stats back up Boucher’s statement, as the team tallied a season high 23 assists in the game, nearly doubling its season’s average of 12 assists a game.

Creating open looks only matters if you’re hitting your shots, and that’s exactly what KSC’s shooters did, scoring an 38.1 percent of their three-point attempts.

Senior guard Sara Laudano Led the three-point barrage and was shooting four of nine from long range on route to a 12-points performance.

“Sara had an awesome game and that’s great to see,” Boucher said.

Courtney Cirillo, who recently recorded her 1,000th career point on Tuesday, added 10 more points to her total, moving her to seventeenth all time on the career scoring list at KSC.

The bench helped extend the lead the starters established.  Sophomore Carly Kiernan helped out with 10 points on four of five shooting in just 11 minutes of playing time.

The Lady Owls showed hustle on defense as well, diving for loose balls and contesting every shot.

Boucher said he understands the importance of dominating the other side of the ball.

“We’re as good as we play defensively, bottom line,” Boucher said.

KSC’s aggressive man-to-man defense forced 26 turnovers and Umass-Boston shot just 25 percent from the field all game, with only one player scoring more than six points.

The team, now on a five game winning streak, have is averaging a 24-point margin of victory in that span.

They improve to 8-1 at home and 7-2 in the Little East Conference

“We are really starting to mesh together nicely, both offensively and defensively,” Boucher said.

With fours seniors and one junior making up the team’s starting line-up, the Lady Owls have used their experience and chemistry to beat opponents. After playing four games this week, the team now has a full week off before its rematch vs. Southern Maine on Saturday.Coach Boucher said he just hopes the break won’t kill the momentum.

“When you’re playing well, you don’t want to stop,” Boucher said. “We have a week off now and truthfully we’d rather just keep playing.  But it’ll be good for us health-wise and we’ll have time to get ready for a good team next week.”


Zachary Winn can be contacted at

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