The Keene State men’s basketball team beat UMass Boston 90-80 in the first Little East Conference matchup of the season.
Three KSC Owls had career-high nights. Sophomore Jaquel Edwards had a career-high of 24 points, hitting eight of 17 baskets, including three of six from behind the three-point line.
Ty Nichols also had a career-high of nine assists, and first-year Jake Collagan drained 15 points, going three for four from beyond the arc.
Five different players for the Owls hit double digit figures.
In the first half, Keene State found themselves up by three when the UMass Boston Beacons went on a 16-to-1 run, taking the lead 23-11.
The Beacons did not stop there, getting their lead up to the highest of the night at 13 points from a three-point play by senior Sam Freeman.
This made the Beacons lead 33-20, but not before the end of the first half when the Owls got some momentum from their bench.
Collagan led the Owls off the bench, giving out an assist to Jimmy Layman on the next possession for a layup and hitting a clutch three-point buzzer beater going into the half.
The Owls went into the half losing 33-28.
The momentum continued when they had strong start to the second half, taking the lead 45-41 after hitting home seven of their first eight shots.
About halfway through the second half, Collagan answered again with two three-point shots and a layup by Edwards, giving the Owls a 64-56 lead.
After two layups by the Owls’ junior Dizel Wright, Nichols stole the ball away for a breakaway dunk, putting the Owls up 70-60
The Beacons put away two free throws with five minutes left, pulling the Owls’ lead to just four points.
Senior forward Matt Ozzella was assisted by Nichols for a three-pointer with 4:41 left, putting the Owls up 79-71.
To finish off the game, the Owls were sent to the line three times and hit all six free throws to tally a final score 90-80.
This snapped a two-game losing streak after the Owls had fallen to LEC opponent UMass Dartmouth and Lasell.
The Owls finished the night shooting 50.8 percent of their shots and 47.6 percent from beyond three-point range.
Keene State is off for the next few weeks and will resume play after the winter break on Dec. 28, traveling to play Worcester Polytechnic Institute at 6 p.m.
Joe Cortese can be contacted at Jcortese@kscequinox.com