The Keene State College women’s basketball team’s Little East Conference championship hopes came to end on Feb. 26, with a 51-39 semi-finals loss to the University of Massachusetts Boston in Willimantic, Connecticut.

The second seeded Owls faced the six seeded Beacons on Friday night and were outplayed in the final three quarters. Keene State was outscored 43-21 in the final three quarters. In second half action Keene State only scored 14 points.

However, in the first quarter it was all KSC as the Owls led 18-8 after the first ten minutes. The Owls also led 25-17 at halftime.

The Beacons were able to take the lead midway through the third quarter, leading 28-25 and scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter the Beacons had a 34-31 lead.

The closest the Owls were able to trim the lead was 34-33 in the fourth quarter. After that it was all UMASS Boston as they went on a 10-0 run to make it a 44-33 lead. Keene State was able to cut the deficit to 44-39 when sophomore Sandi Purcell made back to back three-pointers with under 1:30 to play.

The Beacons were able to ice the game, making their free throws to end the game.

Keene State shot 29 percent from the field and the Beacons shot 24 percent from the field. The Beacons however got to the foul line 36 times and made 20 free throw attempts. The Owls found their way to the foul line nine times, going 5-9. Keene State was also out-rebounded 52-38 and committed 20 turnovers to the Beacons 13.

UMASS Boston’s Grace Geary led all scorers with 22 points and Olivia Murphy had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Beacons. Purcell had 14 points for Keene State, but just shot 5-17 from the field and 2-10 from behind the arc.

The Owls finish the season with a 22-5 record and finished ranked seventh in the final New England Regional Poll. KSC has a bye to the semi-finals of ECAC play.

Brian can be contacted at

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