W. Basketball: Owls Drop Winter Tournament Opener

'LAKE WALES, FLA. 12/29/05 - The Keene State College women's basketball team lost 79-54 to the University of Mary (N.D.) in its first-round game at the Hampton Inn Tournament held at Warner Southern College on Thursday in Lake Wales, Fla.



The Owls fall to 6-2, while the University of Mary, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), improves to 12-3.



"They were a much more physical team," said KSC coach Keith Boucher.  "We did not play well as a unit, and that is the result of having three weeks off and two days to practice before the tournament."



"We were not outmatched, but we beat ourselves," he added.



Bri Barnes (Merrimack, N.H.) and Stacey Morse (Lebanon, N.H.) led the Owls with 13 and 10 points respectively.  According to Boucher, freshman Jenn Kinney (Salem, N.H.) had an outstanding game finishing with nine points and five rebounds.  "She was very strong with the ball, rebounded well, and was our best post-player today," he said.



Joining NCAA Division II next season, the Marauders were led by Andrea Ronderos (Washburn, N.D.) with 22 points. Nicole Meier (Dickinson, N.D.) added 20 points and eight rebounds and Corrie Villegas (Polson, Mt.) finished with 17 points.



The University of Mary shot 63% from the field and 70% from beyond-the-arc.



The Marauders opened the game on an 18-2 run.  The Owls cut the deficit to within 10 (28-18) on a jumper by Sarah Begnoche (Millville, Mass.) with four minutes left in the first half, but would get no closer. 



The University of Mary went into the break with a 38-23 advantage. 



"At times we played well, but we did not match their physicality for the entire 40 -minutes," said Boucher. "When you face a team like that, you have to come to play."



"Fortunately, we can work on our mistakes before tomorrow's game."



Keene State will play Indiana Wesleyan on Friday (8 a.m.)