KEENE, N.H. - Hamilton College closed the first half on a 21-4 run to turn a 26-20 deficit into a 41-30 lead and never trailed after that, beating the Keene State College men's basketball team 83-70 Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium to hand the Owls their second straight home loss.
- Keene State: 1-3
- Hamilton: 4-0
How It Happened
James Anozie scored 15 points to pace the Owls, 11 coming in the second half, but a late first half run by the opposition turned the tables for the second consecutive game. Newcomer Jeff Hunter turned in another impressive performance, tallying 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also grabed six boards and had two steals. Nyzair Rountree, Marcus McCarthy, and Sidi Diallo each scored 10 points, with McCarthy adding a team-high eight rebounds, four assists and three steals and Diallo four rebounds, three assists and a steal. He made five of his six field goal attempts. Spencer Kendall led Hamilton, who reached the Sweet 16 last year, with 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Off the Continentals' bench, which outscored their counterparts 42-15, Elliott Tirbaso scored 15 points and Nick Osarenren tossed in 10. Kena Gilmour scored 11 on 4-of-11 shooting and had five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Keene State started strong, as they scored nine consecutive points in a span of 2:32 to turn an early 7-4 deficit into a 13-7 lead. Four different people scored during that run, which finished with a layup from Hunter and jumper from DeVon Beasley. Hamilton answered, as they hit back with a 9-1 burst of their own and went ahead (16-14) at the 11 minute mark after Tirbaso's three-point play. The game of runs continued over the rest of the half. A Hunter dunk gave KSC a 20-18 edge at the 8:15 mark and sparked a run where the Owls scored eight of ten points to build a 26-20 advantage with exactly five minutes until the break. However, much like Tuesday night when No. 13 Middlebury used a 16-2 late first half run to turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead in a 92-82 win, the visiting Continentals outscored Keene State 21-4 over the final 4:39 to go ahead 41-30. Tirbaso scored five straight points to put the Continentals ahead 30-26, and Osarenren's buzzer-beating corner three made it an 11-point game at halftime. Hamilton had 10 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes and had a 14-3 edge in second chance points in the contest overall.
The Owls stayed within 11 over the opening three minutes of the second half as McCarthy's layup made it 48-37, but the Continentals ran off an 8-2 run, getting triples from Vince Conn and Tirbaso for a game-high 56-39 lead with 14:42 to go. KSC fought back quickly, though, with a 10-0 run that took only four minutes. Anozie scored six points during that surge that made it 56-49 with just under 11 minutes to go. Gilmour answered with a jumper, but the Owls kept coming, as Hunter and Rountree reeled off six in a row to bring the home team to within three points (58-55) at the 8:43 mark. Overall, KSC got back in the game with a 16-2 uprising that took just five minutes. Just as quickly as the Owls got back in it, Hamilton pulled away, effectively deciding the game with an 18-4 burst that left them up 76-59 with 3:23 to go. Mark Lutz scored five points in that span and Hamilton made four of their 11 threes in the contest during that time. Keene State never got closer than 11 after that.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State shot 49% (30-of-61) and the Continentals 46.3% (31-of-67), but the Owls were undone by 2-of-14 (14%) three-point shooting and an 8-of-15 (53%) showing at the free throw line. Meanwhile, Hamilton was 11-of-29 (38%) from deep and 10-of-15 (67%) at the charity stripe.
- The Owls have had five players in double-figures in all four games so far this season. Anozie, McCarthy and Hunter are all averaging over 10 points per game, and KSC is shooting 51.8% as a team.
- It was Keene State's third consecutive game against a team that was in or receiving votes in the d3hoops.com Top 25 preseason poll.
- Keene State has the third of four straight at home as they take on Albertus Magnus College on Tuesday, November 26 at 7:00 pm.
- Hamilton travels cross-country to California, where they will play the California Institute of Technology on Wednesday, November 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET and California Lutheran University on Friday, November 29 at 10:00 pm ET.