BOSTON, Mass. - The Keene State College men's basketball team led 58-50 with six minutes to go, but was then outscored 24-6 over the remainder of the game and lost 74-64 to UMass-Boston in LEC action at the Clark Athletic Center Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 5-12, 4-5 LEC
- UMass-Boston: 12-6, 6-3 LEC
How It Happened
The Owls made only six field goals and shot 20 percent in the opening 20 minutes, recovered to score 33 points over the first 14 minutes of the second half to go up eight, but then managed only six points the rest of the way in their fifth loss in a row. James Anozie moved closer to 1,000 career points, as he scored 16, making 10-of-10 at the foul line. He also tied for a team-high six rebounds with Tony Harris. DeVon Beasley was the only other Owl in double-figures, as he scored 10. Nyzair Rountree had five of KSC's 10 assists. UMass-Boston, who was coming off a 68-59 home loss to Plymouth State University on Wednesday, got double-digit scoring efforts from all five starters, three of which played at least 36 minutes. Michael Boyd filled the statsheet with 18 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. Dasan Cinelli finished with 14 points and 10 boards.
Keene State's offense struggled mightily in the first half, but despite that, the Owls were never down by more than seven and actually led by four (23-19) at the 4:06 mark. UMass-Boston had run out to a 5-0 lead before two minutes were gone, and eventually was up 17-10 with about ten minutes to go after jumpers by Charles Mitchell and Boyd. KSC then took over for the next six minutes, outscoring the home team 13-2 to take their first lead of the game. A three from Beasley made it a 17-15 game, and KSC's next eight points were all from Anozie, six on free throws, as the Owls went up 23-19 with 4:06 to go in the half. After falling behind by four, the Beacons ran off a 7-0 run, going up by three in the final minute of the opening half after Mitchell's jumper before Harris made it 26-25 at the break.
The offenses picked up substantially coming out of the locker room, and Keene State was the early beneficiary, as a 9-4 burst in just over three minutes saw the Owls go up by four (34-30). It was a game of runs from there, as UMass-Boston briefly went up by three after Malik Lorquet's layup at the 13:34 mark made it 40-37, only to see KSC score the next six. Buckets from Quinton Sneed-Lott and Rountree on consecutive possessions had the Owls up 47-44 with about ten minutes to go, and the visitors eventually led by a game-high eight (54-46) three minutes later following a jumper from Harris and two from the free throw line by Beasley. Beasley's layup with 6:09 left maintained the Owl lead at 60-52, but KSC then made just 2-of-9 from the floor over the remainder of the game while committing five turnovers. In that same span, UMB scored 24 points. Two free throws from Mariano Rodriguez tied the game at 60 with 3:39 left, and Boyd's layup on the next possession game the Beacons the lead for good. Keene State did not score again until two Beasley free throws made it 68-62 with a little over a minute remaining. Boyd was fouled on the ensuing trip, made two from the line, and KSC only got within six one more time after that. The Owls improved to shoot 44 percent (14-of-32) after halftime, but allowed UMass-Boston to shoot 56 percent (15-of-27).
Inside the Paint
- Anozie's 10-for-10 showing from the charity stripe matches a single-game high that he also reached last January against Plymouth State, though that came on 13 attempts.
- As a team, KSC's 21-of-25 (84%) showing from the foul line was easily a season-high, but the Owls were undone by 32 percent shooting from the floor and just 3-of-18 from three-point land. Keene State is shooting 38 percent overall and 20 percent from deep since January 9.
- Keene State has held second half leads in four of the five games in this losing streak, including twice by as many as eight and once by as many as 12.
- The Owls had won nine in a row against UMass-Boston since the last head-to-head loss in December of 2015. KSC leads the series 42-12.
- Transfer Jaylen Franklin made his Keene State debut at the 11:23 mark of the first half.
- KSC plays their final non-conference game of the year on Monday (January 27) when they visit Colby-Sawyer College (7-9) at 7:00 pm.
- UMass-Boston, in a four-way tie atop the Little East standings with a 6-3 league record, visits the University of Southern Maine (7-10, 2-7 LEC) on Wednesday, January 29 at 7:30 pm.