KEENE, N.H. - Tamra Gonyea found Kenzie Bennett on a perfect over-the-top inbound pass from the sideline with 13 seconds to go as the Keene State College women's basketball team took the lead on that play and went on to finish off a come-from-behind 56-50 win over UMass-Dartmouth in Little East Conference action Wednesday evening at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 4-12, 3-4 LEC
- UMass-Dartmouth: 8-8, 3-4 LEC
How It Happened
Keene State struggled in the first half, as they committed 16 turnovers in the opening half and trailed 12-7 after one and by as many as 11, but rebounded to outscore the Corsairs 30-15 after the break, holding them to just four field goals in the process. Hailey Derosia just missed a double-double for KSC, finishing with a career-high 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gonyea added 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists - one on what turned out to be the game-winning basket, while Katie Martineau once again made both of her triple tries and scored six points. UMass-Dartmouth was led by Jordan Moretti and Lauren Empey, who had 13 points apiece. Moretti added 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Empey grabbed five boards. Ashley Brown, who averaged a conference-best 16.8 points per game entering tonight and needed just 11 to reach 1,000 for her career, was held to two.
The Owls actually burst out of the gates, going up 5-0 on a three from Derosia just over two minutes in, but then only scored one more basket over the remainder of the opening quarter. UMass-Dartmouth scored nine points over the final 3:23 to turn a 7-3 deficit into a 12-7 lead after one. KSC found their offensive footing in the second quarter, as they shot 58% (7-of-12) overall and made 3-of-4 from the foul line, but the Corsairs were also piling up the points, opening the frame on an 11-5 run over the initial 2:24 to take a double-digit (23-12) lead after Jessica Carroll's layup. A three by Martineau and buckets by Derosia and Lilly Shlimon helped Keene State rebound to cut the visitors' lead to four after a 10-3 burst over their own made it 26-22 at the 4:45 mark, but Moretti scored the next four points and UMD led by as many as 11 in the final two minutes of the half before taking a 35-26 lead to the locker room.
Although Keene State never took the lead until there was only 1:24 left in regulation, the Owls turned the tables in the second half using defense and steadily chipped away. After turning the ball over just six times in the first 20 minutes, UMass-Dartmouth committed 15 miscues in the second half (KSC only seven) and was stifled from the field, going just 4-for-27. The Corsairs scored only three points over the opening six minutes of the third quarter and eventually watched KSC score five in a row, all by Derosia, making it 38-35 at the 4:02 mark after her basket and free throw. Martineau's second trey capped another 5-0 burst moments later, as Keene State tied the game at 42 before Moretti rebounded a miss of Brown's three and put it in for a 44-42 Corsair lead after three.
In an incredibly tight fourth quarter, neither team led by more than two points until Keene State salted the game away with free throws with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Derosia tied the game with 8:44 to go, but the Corsairs did have more answers for the moment, as they pushed out in front by two twice more, the last of which coming at 48-46 after a layup by Meagan Donovan with 3:16 left in regulation. Gonyea keyed the Owls' late push, as she drove to the basket and tied the game just over a minute later before giving the Owls a 50-48 lead, their first since the opening quarter, after she put back her own miss with 1:23 remaining. Overall, Gonyea scored six of her 11 points in the final four minutes. After the teams exchanged unsuccessful possessions, the Corsairs came out of a timeout and got a layup from Empey to tie the game at 50 with 20 seconds to go, but the Owls then drew up their own play and quickly retook the lead. Inbounding next to the KSC bench, Gonyea found Bennett over the top, who laid the ball in, was fouled, and made the ensuing free throw for a three-point lead with 13 ticks to go. The Corsairs turned to Brown for the tie, but her three was well off the mark and two free throws from Derosia made it a five-point game with nine seconds left.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls' are now fourth in the conference in field goal percentage defense, holding teams to just 36.8 percent shooting. KSC has held the opposition to under 60 points in nine of 16 games.
- The win snapped Keene's four-game slide against the Corsairs. The Owls have won 30 of 40 all-time meetings.
- Martineau continues to lead the LEC in three-point shooting at 50 percent.
- KSC has their conference bye this weekend. The Owls will travel to Western Connecticut State University next Wednesday (January 22) for a 5:30 pm tip.
- UMass-Dartmouth returns home to host Plymouth State University on Saturday, January 18 at 1:00 pm.