KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College women's basketball team got 31 points from freshmen, but a late comeback attempt was halted as the Owls fell 68-55 to Middlebury College in their 2019-2020 home opener Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 0-3
- Middlebury: 1-0
How It Happened
KSC newcomers shined in the first collegiate home games of their careers, as Hailey Derosia made 6-of-10 shots and 2-of-3 from three to score 17 points. She also added three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Katie Martineau canned half of her six long-range tries and scored 11 points, while Lilly Shlimon finished with nine points. The Owls were undone by a second quarter that saw them get outscored 22-8, the last three points coming on a buzzer-beating three by Middlebury's Gianni Palli. The Panthers were paced by four double-figure scorers, led by Betsy Knox's 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists. She made 7-of-9 from the floor. 2018-2019 All-NESCAC Second Team selection Maya Davis recorded 14 points, eight coming from the foul line, seven rebounds and three assists.
Both teams' offenses piled up points in the opening quarter, as Knox's jumper was answered by buckets from Jordyn Burke and Shlimon for a 6-5 Owl lead not even three minutes into the game. Tied at eight, Middlebury reeled off ten of the next 12 points to take an 18-10 edge on Davis' layup with just over a minute remaining, but Shlimon's three-pointer and Derosia's bucket and free throw made it a two-point game after one. The Panthers gained separation in the second stanza, as a three from Knox made it 22-17 and, later, a Kira Waldman layup made it 26-19. The visitors continued to extend their lead, going up 33-21 on a three by Waldman with just under two minutes to go in the half. Palli's aforementioned triple made it 40-24 at the break, with Middlebury outscoring KSC 14-3 over the final 3:25 to blow open what had been a close game.
The early stages following the intermission were not much different, as the visitors' advantage grew to 22 (47-25) following Alyna Baharozian's three just over two minutes in, and Reagan McDonald's layup at the 3:13 mark still had Middlebury up 51-34. The lead was 20 again on another basket from McDonald in the waning seconds of the third quarter before Kenzie Bennett made a three at the buzzer to make it 58-41 heading to the fourth.
Derosia took over to start the final stanza, as her three and layup made it 58-46 just 1:06 in, the closest KSC had come all half. Two of Martineau's three triples came in the ensuing minutes as the Owls drew even closer, making it 60-52 with still over five minutes to go. However, despite holding the Panthers to just one field goal in the last 10 minutes, KSC was not able to get much-needed baskets on critical possessions, as they missed three consecutive shots after Gonyea's three-point play made it 62-55 with 2:53 remaining. Middlebury was a perfect 6-of-6 at the charity stripe in the final 1:08 to seal the final margin.
Inside the Paint
- Middlebury shot 46% in the contest, making 24-of-52 shots, while the Owls settled at 32% (19-of-60). Both teams made seven threes. Middlebury had a wide 47-25 rebounding edge. Keene State saw a marked improvement in the turnover department, as they made just 10 miscues compared to the Panthers' 18, which led to a 15-4 points off turnovers edge to Keene State.
- Derosia has scored in double figures in two of her first three career games.
- The Owls dropped their third consecutive head-to-head matchup with Middlebury, but still lead the all-time series 11-5.
- Keene State has a quick turnaround, as they visit nearby New England College for a Monday night game (November 18) that starts at 6:00 pm. The Owls and Pilgrims have not met since 2002.
- Middlebury makes their home debut on Tuesday, November 19 against Westfield State University at 5:30 pm.