KEENE, N.H. – The Keene State College women's basketball team made 6-of-12 shots in the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie or win at the buzzer, but came up short in a 43-41 Little East Conference loss to the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 2-10, 1-2 LEC
- Southern Maine: 7-6, 2-2 LEC
How It Happened
Keene State held Southern Maine to their lowest point total of the season and just 31% shooting from the floor, but the Owls' own offensive struggles helped send them to their third consecutive loss, all games in which they have scored fewer than 50 points. Freshman Hailey Derosia paced KSC with 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks, but was the only Owl in double-figures. Classmate Katie Martineau came off the bench to make 3-of-5 from deep, scoring nine points. She also had two assists. The Huskies were led by Abi Ramirez's 10 points, but she shot just 4-of-14 from the floor. Jackie Luckhardt finished with nine points.
In a low-scoring opening quarter, Keene State got layups from Jordyn Burke and Tamra Gonyea to open a 5-2 lead nearly four minutes in. However, the Owls then went nearly four minutes without scoring while USM put up four straight to nudge out in front by one (6-5) at the 2:29 mark. From there, the teams exchanged the lead four times over the remainder of the quarter, which ended with Michelle Rowe's layup that made it 11-10 for the visitors. KSC's offense struggled to get on track for the majority of the second quarter, as they scored just two points over the opening 6:39 and trailed by as many as five, but an 8-2 burst over the final 3:20 helped the Owls salvage a 20-19 lead at halftime. Derosia scored five of the home team's 10 points in the second quarter.
Southern Maine took the lead by outscoring KSC 10-5 in a third frame that featured combined 5-for-29 shooting between the two teams, including just one field goal in 13 tries for the Owls. Ramirez's basket broke the second half lid at the 6:29 mark, putting the Huskies ahead 21-20, and the visitors eventually were up three before a trey by Gonyea tied the game at 25 with 3:30 to go. USM led 29-25 entering the final 10 minutes after scoring the final four points of the third.
Both teams found their respective offenses down the stretch, but the Owls, despite tying the game three times, were never able to gain the upper hand. Martineau canned another trey and Samantha Adamson converted a traditional three-point play as KSC evened it at 31 just 1:11 into the fourth, but the Huskies scored the next five just as quickly to make it 36-31 with 7:40 to go. Back came the Owls again, as they held USM to just two points over the next four minutes, tying the game (38-38) after yet one more Martineau long range make and a Burke layup. The Owls had more chances in the final minutes, as they tied the game at 41 with 33 seconds left following another Burke basket and 1-of-2 from the foul line by Tamra Gonyea, but Katie Howe drained a long two on the Huskies' next possession to put her team back in front 43-41 with just five seconds to go. Keene State then called a timeout looking to win or force overtime, but a running attempt from Arianna Hebert was off the mark at the buzzer.
Inside the Paint
- Martineau continues to lead the conference in three-point shooting at 55.2%. She averages 1.5 made triples per game while playing 12.6 minutes.
- Southern Maine outrebounded Keene State 17-10 on the offensive glass, leading to a 12-5 edge in second chance points.
- Keene State continues a stretch of four games in seven days at Plymouth State University on Tuesday, January 7 at 5:30 pm.
- Southern Maine entertains Rhode Island College on the same day and time.