'WESTFIELD, Mass. 1/12/06 - The Keene State College women's basketball team dropped its second consecutive game with a 43-42 non-conference loss to Westfield State College on Thursday night in Westfield, Mass.
Senior guard Meghan McCarthy (Belchertown) and sophomore reserve guard Betty Dely (Waltham) both scored 10 points to lead Westfield State.
Keene State, a member of the Little East Conference, is now 8-6. Westfield State boosted its overall record to 6-7 heading into Saturday's Mass. State Conference game at Worcester State.
Both teams' mascot is the Owls and they also had much in common during the low scoring contest, particularly in shooting department. The Owls of Keene State shot 25 percent from the field, including a 5-for-25 effort in the second half when they were outscored 23-15.
Amazingly, Keene State had 11 players dent the scoring column; however, its leading scorer - junior guard Bri Barnes (Merrimack, N.H.) - only finished with six points.
The Owls of Westfield, meanwhile, shot well enough from the field (30 percent) to hold on for the victory. Westfield was out-rebounded 50-32, but it came up with some caroms at key stages in the game. Both team committed nine fouls in the fast-moving game and Westfield had six fewer turnovers.
Trailing 18-15 with 9:30 remaining in the first half, Keene State went on a 12-0 run over the next seven minutes for a 27-18 advantage. Westfield broke the scoreless streak on a pair of free throws by Andrea Wasuk (Lenox) with 1:23 remaining. The halftime score was 27-20.
Westfield gradually closed the gap in the second half and tied the score at 33-all with 9:23 remaining on a short jumper by 6-2 freshman center Katrina Crotts (Danvers).
Westfield took the lead, 40-39, with 5:30 remaining on a jumper in the paint by freshman guard Jenn Leveille (Southampton). Keene regained the lead, 41-40, at the 3:57 mark on a corner jumper from Emily Flewellling (Pittsford, VT).
The host team took the lead for good, 43-41, with 3:01 remaining when McCarthy drained her third 3-point basket. Keene's Sarah Begnoche (Millville, MA) hit the second of two free throws to make the score 43-42 with 1:16 remaining.
After both teams traded missed field goal attempts, Keene State was forced to foul Westfield three times to get the host team into a bonus foul situation. McCarthy missed the front end of a one-and-one with 16 seconds remaining. Keene grabbed the rebound then missed two shots near the basket in the frantic final seconds, including a last-second shot by in heavy traffic by Begnoche, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
KSC will host the University of Southern Maine in LEC play on Saturday (1 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information)