The Keene State women’s basketball team faced off in a battle against Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the Spaulding Gymnasium. The Owls lost by just one point in the fourth quarter, 63-62.
Senior and forward Stephanie D’Annolfo achieved her second double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while also achieving a game-high of six assists. Fellow teammate and junior guard Lydia Vital also racked up 16 points, while senior forward Amanda Petrow added a game-high of 12 rebounds.
The first quarter had a bit of a slow start, but D’Annolfo was able to add a layup, creating an 11-4 lead with just 5:54 left on the clock. The Warriors were able to make back-to-back three-point shots and came within one point of the Owls. With just 3:00 left on the clock, the Owls were able to extend their lead to six, before Eastern came back with a layup for a score of18-14, Keene State leading at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams were tied 21-21 with just over seven minutes left in the half. Vital and junior guard Sandi Purcell sank back-to-back three-pointers, putting the Owls back on top 29-25. The Warriors answered back with a layup, but first-year forward Kenzie Bennett scored a layup with 3:31 left, giving Keene State the upper hand, 31-27.
The Owls managed to stay four points ahead with a layup from D’Annolfo, but a three-point conversion put the Warriors within one point, 33-32 Keene State.
The Warriors came out strong in the beginning of the third quarter, going on an 11-2 run, earning their largest lead 43-35, Eastern in the lead. D’Annolfo sank two free throws and Vital added another layup, bringing the Owls within four points with 3:57 left on the clock. The Warriors sank another two free throws, giving them a five-point lead 47-42. The Owls weren’t giving up quite yet; D’Annolfo passed the ball to McPadden for a three-pointer, and a last second layup from Vital tied the game at 47-47 at the end of the third.
The last quarter was all back and forth, tied at 57 a piece with just 3:08 left on the clock. Keene State snagged the lead with two free throws from sophomore forward Josie Amerson.
The Warriors quickly reacted with a three-point basket and then converted a free throw with just .32 left on the clock. The warriors had a two-point advantage 61-59. Vital shot up the right side of the court for an essential lay up to tie the game for the eighth time.
A steal by Purcell forced a foul by Eastern, but they were fouled in just the remaining seconds.
The Warriors approached the line and sank both free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining on the clock. D’Annolfo went to shoot, but hit the rim, giving Eastern a 63-62 win.
Shelby Iava can be contacted at Siava@kscequinox.com