The Keene State College men’s basketball postseason run came to end on March 11, with a 74-62 loss to Christopher Newport University in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The contest was played at a neutral site at SUNY Oswego in upstate New York.
The Owls were facing a strong Captains team that improved it’s record to 29-1 on the season and were ranked number four in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll.
According to keeneowls.com, KSC jumped out to an 8-3 lead to open up the game.
The Captains then went on a 7-0 run after the Owls strong start. However, Keene State fought back making it a 13-10 game.
Keene State was able to tie the game with 2:34 to go in the second half, but Christopher Newport went on an 8-0 run to end the first half and led 33-27 at halftime.
In the second half, the Captains came out strong with a 10-5 run to open up the action,giving themselves a 43-32 lead. With around 12 minutes to go the Owls pulled to within three points at 45-42 with first-year player’s Ty Nichols layup.
After that, the Captains responded and got the lead back to nine points. The Owls do not go quietly as they put together a 10-1 run in the next five minutes after the Captains’ run. Senior Nate Howard tied the game up at 52-52 before the under eight minutes media timeout.
Coming out of the timeout the number four team in the country played like it going on a 7-2 run and Keene State could not overcome the deficit.
Nichols lead Keene State scorers with 18 points and Junior Matt Ozzella had 15 points. Howard scored 12 points and with 11:25 left he sank a foul shot to score his 1,000-career point. Howard became the thirty-seventh player in program history to accomplish the feat. He also set the record with of 77 blocks in a season as he recorded four.
Marcus Carter’s 22 points and 12 rebounds led the Captains and Tim Daly contributed 17 points off the bench.
Keene State finishes the season with a 20-11 record and they are the third team in program history to reach the Sweet 16.
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