The Keene State College women’s basketball team used a first round bye to its advantage and captured the ECAC New England Championship on March 6. It was the Owls second ECAC title in program history.

The Owls first took down Endicott College with a 72-62 win in the semi-final round held at Western New England University on March 5. That win set the stage for the championship matchup against Western New England.

Contributed Photo / Keene State College Sports Information Department

Contributed Photo / Keene State College Sports Information Department

According to, Sarah Kober led the Owls in the tournament. In the championship game, Kober scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. She also scored a career high of 19 points in the semi-final contest.

The Owls and Golden Bears were tied up at halftime after a 10-0 run by the Golden Bears to even the score at 27-27.

At the conclusion of the third quarter the Owls led 44-38. However, the Golden Bears responded with a 10-1 run to open the fourth quarter. The run by the Western New England was enough to give them a 48-45 lead.

With fewer than three minutes left, KSC found themselves down by five points, trailing 54-49. However, Western New England was not able to score again. Junior Sandi Purcell was able to sink a three pointer to put the Owls within two points (54-52).

Senior Ryanne Williams was able to tie the game at 54-54 with a layup just under a minute to go. Sophomore Lydia Vital then sunk two free throws to give the Owls a 56-54 win with eight seconds remaining.

Kober won the tournament MVP for her strong play. Keene State finishes the season with a 24-5 record, which is the most wins in program history. Western New England’s season ends with a 19-11 record.

Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at

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