NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - UMass-Dartmouth saw an 11-point second quarter lead vanish quickly, but then later used a 15-2 run to turn a 30-30 tie into a double-digit third quarter lead and went on to cruise from there to a 69-51 win over the Keene State College women's basketball team Wednesday night in Little East Conference action at the Tripp Athletic Center.
- Keene State: 7-15, 6-7 LEC
- UMass-Dartmouth: 13-9, 8-5 LEC
How It Happened
Keene State received a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double from senior Kenzie Bennett and a season-best 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting from freshman Arianna Hebert, but a 3-of-18 shooting performance in the third quarter proved to be the difference as UMass-Dartmouth pulled away, winning for the fifth time in the past six games. Tamra Gonyea was the only other Owl in double-figures, as she finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals. KSC shot 20-for-62 (32%) overall in the game, making just 7-of-30 from long range and 4-of-8 from the charity stripe. The Corsairs, who shot 47 percent in the game and 58 percent (18-for-31) after halftime, got 16 points apiece from Ashley Brown and Shaelyn Carreiro. Brown also had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Carreiro chipped in nine rebounds and a block. The pair combined to make 13-of-22 shots.
The Corsair offense was much cooler to start, and KSC began on the right note, as Gonyea's jumper just over a minute in gave the visitors a 6-2 edge, which remained 8-4 following Bennett's layup at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter. UMass-Dartmouth took their first lead on Jordan Moretti's three at the 1:47 mark, and wound up closing the frame on an 8-0 run to lead 15-9. Bennett fed Hebert for a three nearly that many minutes into the second quarter as KSC remained within that same margin, but the Corsairs followed by scoring six of the next seven to open up a 25-14 edge with 5:10 to go until halftime. The Owls responded very quickly with an 11-0 burst that took barely over three minutes, making three triples (from three different players) in that span. Katie Martineau started the run with a long-range make before Abby Grandmaison and Bennett finished it with ones of their own on back-to-back possessions. Tied at 25 at the 2:07 mark, UMD scored a quick five before Bennett brought the Owls within three (30-27) at halftime.
Martineau brought KSC even again in the opening minute of the second half, but it was downhill from there for the Owls, who scored just two points over the next 7:49 while UMD went on a 16-2 run to lead 46-32. Carreiro and Jordan Moretti combined for 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting, six rebounds, two assists and a block overall in the third quarter as the Corsairs took command and never really let Keene State back in the game. Moretti's three with 4:06 to go in the third pushed the lead into double-figures for the home team, and it remained a 48-35 gap going into the fourth.
After trailing by 15 (50-35) with 9:47 remaining in regulation, the Owls did make it interesting for the moment, as they outscored UMass-Dartmouth 11-4 over the next four minutes and got within 54-46 after Grandmaison's putback of a missed three with 5:58 to go, but Moretti went right down and buried a triple 18 seconds later to make it a double-digit lead again. Gonyea answered on KSC's ensuing trip to slice the deficit to 57-49 but, again, UMD's offense had an answer, this time with consecutive layups by Carreiro, and the Owls never threatened again. Keene State scored two points over the final 5:22 after getting within eight.
Inside the Paint
- Bennett's 14 boards match a career-high that she also achieved against the University of Southern Maine on December 9, 2017.
- Keene State is 30-11 all-time against UMass-Dartmouth, but has not won on the Corsairs' home court in the last three tries.
- The Owls' lead for the final playoff spot is now a game and a half following Southern Maine's 68-46 home win over Plymouth State University this evening. KSC is one game behind fifth-place UMass-Boston (7-6 LEC), but the Beacons would have a tiebreaker edge as of now.
- KSC entertains Rhode Island College (19-4, 11-3 LEC), who is in a battle for first place in the league, on Saturday (February 15) at 1:00 pm. The Cheshire Cats jump rope team will perform at halftime.
- UMass-Dartmouth goes to Western Connecticut State University (8-13, 3-9 LEC) on the same day.