WESTFIELD, Mass. - The Keene State College women's basketball team saw Jordyn Burke drop a career-high 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Owls fell to Westfield State University 74-69 Tuesday evening at the Woodward Center.
- Keene State: 0-2
- Westfield State: 2-0
How It Happened
From the tip, Keene State got the ball rolling, as they scored the opening six points, with Burke scoring four of them. Westfield got a three from Isabella Aitken to get on the board, but six more points in a row capped by layups by Shlimon and Burke helped open a 12-3 KSC advantage not even three minutes in. WSU hit back, going on an 11-1 burst over the next two and half minutes to take their inital lead of the game at 14-13. The teams exchanged runs down the stretch of the opening quarter, with Westfield State taking a seven-point lead (22-15) after Alison Mendel's three, only to see KSC fight back for a 23-22 edge after one on Shlimon's layup with 14 seconds to go.
Neither team gained any separation in the second frame, with the biggest lead for either side reaching six points, which Keene State grabbed after Katie Martineau's three with 2:35 left in the half made it 41-35. Tamra Gonyea's bucket on KSC's next possession kept it a six-point advantage, but Westfield scored the final four points of the opening half to get within 43-41 at the break. The visitors made 9-of-18 from the field in the second quarter to keep the lead despite turning the ball over 19 times in the first 20 minutes.
The New Hampshire Owls got off to a strong start out of the locker room, pushing it to 48-41 on a layup from Burke and trey by Lilly Shlimon just 2:19 in, but then went ice cold, as Westfield scored nine of the next 11 points to tie the game at 50 on Melissa Gray's layup and free throw. Gonyea put Keene State back in front 55-53 at the 2:20 mark, but Taina Slaughter's three a minute later put WSU ahead entering the fourth.
Despite shooting under 30% in the final quarter, KSC hung around, rallying from a five-point deficit to tie it at 60 on Burke's two free throws with 6:42 to go. The star of the night continued to pace the Owls offense moments later, as she canned two more baskets down low for a 64-63 Keene State edge with just over five minutes remaining. However, the visitors did not score again until they found themselves trailing 72-64 in the final two minutes, with Westfield reeling off nine consecutive points to flip the game around. Chelsea Moussette hit a key three in that stretch to put WSU up two possessions (68-64). Jenny Freedman scored with 1:12 to go to make it 72-66, but KSC never got any closer until Shlimon's three with seven seconds left set the final margin.
Shlimon finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Kenzie Bennett recorded a double-double of 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Gonyea also filled the statsheet, finishing with 10 points, six steals, five rebounds, and three assists. Gray led Westfield with 15 points, but shot just 4-of-14 from the floor. Slaughter (13 points) and Aitken (12 points) scored in double-figures off the bench, which WSU received 45 points from compared to KSC's 22.
Inside the Paint
- Keene State outshot Westfield State 40% to 31%, but went just 9-of-17 at the charity stripe while WSU went 14-of-16. The Owls also had a 56-46 rebounding edge. Each team collected 21 offensive rebounds.
- Burke's output marked her second career double-double. The other came last season (January 16) when she had 16 points and 12 rebounds at Western Connecticut State University.
- KSC has lost three straight to Westfield after winning seven of the first nine all-time meetings.
- Keene State's home opener comes Saturday, November 16, as the Owls host Middlebury College for a 1:00 pm tip-off.
- Westfield State remains at home to host LEC foe Plymouth State University on Sunday, November 17 at 12:00 pm.