The Keene State College men’s basketball team had a rough week, losing two Little East Conference road games in overtime.
The first loss came at the hands of in-state rival Plymouth State University, with a score of 78-76 on Feb. 10. The Owls were able to overcome a 72-65 deficit with under three minutes to go. KSC’s 7-0 run was enough to force overtime at 72-72. However, both sides went ice cold in overtime as KSC scored just four points and PSU scored six to prevail.
The Owls hit the road again on Feb. 13, as they took on Western Connecticut State University. According to keeneowls.com, KSC fell to the Colonials 82-77. It began as a back and forth contest in the opening half, with Keene State having a 12-8 lead.
However, Western Connecticut went on a 12-0 run and did not look back from it in the first half. The Colonials led the Owls 34-26 at halftime.
In the second half, the Owls were able to overcome a ten-point deficit. KSC was able to cut the Colonials lead to three points at 56-53 with around 7:30 to go. Keene State then fell behind seven points when Western Connecticut’s Phil Starks nailed back to back three pointers to make it 62-55.
However, the Owls got on a run where they scored ten points. Juniors Matt Ozzella and Lucas Hammel led the charge scoring eight out of those ten points.
The run allowed KSC to lead 65-62. Ozzella led Keene State scorers with 22 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. The deciding moment to force overtime came when Starks went one for two at the foul line to tie the game up at 65-65. KSC junior Jaquel Edwards had a chance to win it for the Owls but he missed a shot at the buzzer.
In overtime, the Owls fell behind from a three pointer but were able to claw back to take a 69-68 lead. The Colonials then went on a 7-1 run to take a 75-70 lead with 43 seconds left. Keene State was able to pull within three to make it 78-75 when senior Nate Stitchell connected on a three pointer with eight seconds to go. However, the Colonials then made four free throws to claim the victory.
Keene State will close out the regular season on the road on Saturday, Feb.20, at Rhode Island College. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Brian can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org