PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Keene State College men's basketball team rapidly washed away a 40-36 halftime deficit by going on a mammoth 41-9 surge over the opening 13 minutes of the second half and went on to blow out Plymouth State University 89-70 in a Little East Conference game Tuesday evening at Foley Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 5-7, 4-0 LEC
- Plymouth State: 5-6, 0-3 LEC
How It Happened
DeVon Beasley led the Owls in scoring for the second straight game, as he connected on 5-of-10 triples and scored 17 points. Nyzair Rountree added 14 points (5-7 FG), five assists, four rebounds and a steal, while Jeff Hunter chipped in 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting and five rebounds. Ben Olson filled the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, six points and five assists. Jeric Cichon grabbed 11 boards, and Nick Redden rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11. Plymouth, who lost by their most lopsided margin of the season, got 18 points off the bench from Giorgi Tsiklauri. Jaylen LeRoy and Dante Rivera, who average a combined 33 points per game, were held to 16.
Keene State took the upper hand early, as Beasley scored five straight points to make it 9-4 and later made a three to make it 12-6 a little less than six minutes in. The Owls still led 18-12 at the 11:14 mark, but the Panthers went on a 13-1 burst in the blink of an eye, going up 25-19 just 2:14 later. That run was highlighted by a four-point play by Rivera and five points from Tsiklauri. Plymouth State then led for most of the rest of the opening half, as KSC only went ahead very briefly (33-31) after another trey from Beasley before eventually falling behind by four again (38-34) following a 7-1 run by the Panthers. PSU led 40-36 at the break.
A bucket from Manny Alisandro and two free throws from Rivera still had the hosts in front by four 1:40 into the second half, but what followed was an avalanche of Owl scoring, as KSC throttled Plymouth 37-5 over the next 11 minutes to turn a deficit against them into a rout in their favor. Keene State went from down one to up five (50-45) at the 15:33 mark after Redden and Beasley drained consecutive threes and was not even close to slowing down, as Redden and Hunter then scored inside on back-to-back trips for a 60-45 cushion with 12:15 to go. Leading by 19 a few minutes later, KSC put the game away entirely with nine more points in a row, as Redden and Miguel Prieto connected from long range before Cichon went inside for an old-fashioned three-point play that made it 77-49 with seven minutes left. The Owls were never threatened again and dominated all aspects of the final 20 minutes, as they outshot Plymouth 53% to 28% and enjoyed a 26-14 edge on the glass.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls' 19 assists are the most in a game since they had 21 against Albertus Magnus College on November 26. Rountree and Olson each had five helpers, while Cichon and Sidi Diallo had three apiece.
- Beasley has scored in double-figures in the last three games and Hunter three of the last four.
- KSC is 10-2 in their last 12 meetings against PSU overall and has won the last two games in Plymouth by a combined 45 points.
- Keene State continues a busy week with a home matchup against Eastern Connecticut State University (5-7, 1-2 LEC) on Thursday, January 9. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since KSC's 72-69 win in the Little East tournament championship last February at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Plymouth State visits Castleton University (1-11, 0-3 LEC) on the same night.