The Keene State College men’s basketball team picked up a 73-70 win on Senior Day on Feb. 6, to split the season series with the University of Southern Maine.

It was a game that did not start out well for the Owls. The Huskies jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first five minutes of the first half. The Owls and Huskies went back and forth in the first half as Keene State chipped away at the lead. Keene State led at halftime 33-27.

Keene State Interim Head Coach Ryan Cain said the team buckled down to make a run back in the first half. “That period where we came back, I thought we did what we are supposed to do,” Cain said.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

First-year player Ty Nichols got the Owls off to a good start in the second half, scoring five straight points to put the Owls up 38-27. Nichols finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Southern Maine then started to chip away, making it a 49-49 game with a little over 10 minutes remaining. The Huskies largest lead of the second half came with 5:17 left, up 63-57 after Atencio Martin made two foul shots. Martin finished with 12 points and ten rebounds.

Keene State then went on a 9-0 run to take the lead as Ty Nichols’ three-point play put the Owls up for good at 66-63.

On Senior Day, the Owls got solid play from seniors Nate Howard and Nate Stitchell. Howard finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Stitchell also finished in double figures with 16 points, five assists and two steals. Also, senior Tre Tipton played 30 minutes and had two points, four rebounds and four assists.

“It’s a huge win, especially on senior night. We lost to them by one last time. They are just one ahead of us in the standings and now we’re equal. It’s a big win with playoffs coming around the corner,” Howard said.

Cain praised his seniors’ efforts. “I thought they were fantastic all game long. They made plays for each other, played hard and set the tone for our team,” Cain said.

Keene State will have one more home game remaining on the regular season. The Owls will be away for their next two games and will return home on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and take on Eastern Connecticut State University.

Brian can be contacted at

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