KEENE, N.H. - Hien Thach hit a running three-pointer at the buzzer to cap off the Keene State College women's basketball team's game-ending 7-0 run as the Owls picked up a thrilling 68-65 Little East win over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 3-14, 1-8 LEC
- Southern Maine: 10-5, 6-2 LEC
How It Happened
Lilly Shlimon made 9-of-13 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from long range, while tying a career-high with 23 points. She added four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Abby Thut came off the bench to tally 11 points and three rebounds, while Emily McPadden also had 11 points. Thach finished with eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal. Jackie Luckhardt led Southern Maine with 15 points.
The Owls got off to a slow start, as the Huskies tallied eight of the first nine points to lead 8-1 a little over three minutes in. KSC got a three from McPadden to draw back within four, but Alexa Srolovitz then scored six straight points for the visitors, who took a 14-4 lead at the 2:29 mark of the opening quarter. USM led 20-9 after one. Keene State's offense awakened in the second quarter, but Southern Maine initially maintained a 27-15 lead in the first three minutes. It was still 31-19 USM at the 4:31 mark, but the Owls scored eight consecutive points over the next three minutes to make it a four-point game (31-27). The surge finished with Jasmin Mitchell's jumper and Thach's steal which eventually resulted in two Thut free throws with 1:52 on the clock. The Huskies scored the final four points to lead 35-27 at halftime.
USM scored the opening bucket of the second half just eight seconds in to push the lead back to double figures, and eventually led 46-33 at the 5:47 mark after Srolovitz's triple. It was still a 12-point game with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter, but the Owls closed the period with five points from Shlimon in the final 36 seconds to get back within 54-46 after three. She also scored the opening basket of the final quarter as KSC sliced the deficit to five in the opening two minutes, but USM immediately responded with five points - all from Luckhardt - to lead 59-49 with 6:58 to go. Trailing 63-52 with four minutes remaining, the Owls came flying back, as they finished the game on a 16-2 burst, including the final seven points. Shlimon continued to shine, as she made a layup and a three on consecutive possessions that brought KSC within 63-59 at the 2:23 mark. Two McPadden freebies made it a one possession game with just under two minutes to go, but Luckhardt answered by converting inside. The Huskies did not score again, and two from the line for Jordyn Burke made it 65-63 with 1:10 on the clock. Keene State held, getting a stop on USM's next possession, before Thach tied the game at 65 with 27 seconds left. The Huskies called a timeout, but could not convert in the final seconds. Thach, with KSC also out of timeouts, came dashing down the floor and drained a running three in the final seconds for the win. The Owls, who had not led at any point in the game until the final horn, shot 47% (7-of-15) overall, made 3-of-5 from long range, and outrebounded USM 13-6 in the fourth quarter while outscoring the Huskies 22-11.
Inside the Paint
- KSC shot 43% (22-of-51) in the contest while making 9-of-18 from long range (50%). Southern Maine made 27-of-65 from the field (42%), but just 2-of-9 (22%) from distance.
- Shlimon has scored 41 points in the last two games and 18 or more in three of the last five games.
- Keene State snapped a four-game losing streak to Southern Maine.
- McPadden needs one more made three to eclipse 200 for her career, good for sixth on the all-time KSC list.
- Keene State will travel to UMass Boston on Wednesday, January 23 for a 5:30 pm tip-off.
- Southern Maine has a rescheduled game at home against Western Connecticut State University on Monday, January 21 at 1:00 pm.