KEENE, N.H. – Ty Nichols scored a season high 30 points to lead four players in double-figures as the Keene State College men's basketball team built a 32-point first half lead en route to a 112-61 win over UMass Dartmouth in Little East Conference action at Spaulding Gym on Saturday afternoon.
- Keene State: 11-4, 5-0 LEC
- UMass Dartmouth: 9-6, 2-3 LEC
How It Happened
The 30 points for Nichols represented a season-high for him, and he fell just two points shy of his career-high set last March in an NCAA Tournament win at No. 5 Ramapo. He did match a career-high with 11 rebounds, while adding seven assists and four steals to fall just shy of a triple-double. Olson made 8-of-9 shots from the floor en route to his career high 22 points. He added seven rebounds and an assist, while James Anozie had a 15 point, 10 rebound double-double. Dizel Wright had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks for the Owls, who assisted on 29 of their 44 made field goals.
Patrick Gavin had 17 points, eight rebounds and an assist off the bench to lead UMass Dartmouth. Nick Bond added 12 points and two steals, while Joshua Imadiyi had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and a block. Arinze Obiora contributed six points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
A triple from Bond in the first minute gave the Corsairs a 5-2 advantage, but Keene State quickly assumed control and never let up, scoring 11 consecutive points helped by threes from Nichols and Miguel Prieto to take a 13-5 lead at the 15:39 mark. Imadiyi's triple ended the surge for the moment, but KSC got two layups from Sidi Diallo and two free throws from DeVon Beasley that extended the lead to 25-8 with 12:04 to go in the half. Later, Anozie and Prieto cashed in from close range to give the Owls a 34-12 advantage. Nichols then took over, going on a personal 9-0 run with two layups and a three, as KSC upped the lead to 45-16 with just under four minutes left in the first. A bucket inside for Kyle Santoro and another triple from Nichols in the final minute gave the Owls a 56-24 halftime lead. KSC shot 60% in the first half and made 5-of-6 threes. Nichols stuffed the stat sheet, recording 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the first half alone.
The second half was more of the same, as Keene State continued to extend the lead. Buckets from Diallo and Wright in the early-going made it 60-24 and, later, Nichols and Olson scored inside to make it 66-31 with five minutes gone. Nichols continued to shine, draining two long threes within a minute and later converting a traditional three-point play that made it 81-35 with 9:15 to go. Keene State kept going, surpassing the 100 point mark on a deep shot from Santoro with 3:15 to go. Beasley and Olson dominated down the stretch, further extending the lead.
Inside the Paint
- The Owls are 5-0 in Little East play for the first time since 2006-07.
- Keene State shot 54% (44-for-81) in the contest, while holding UMass Dartmouth to just 25% (22-of-89) shooting. The Owls shot a blistering 11-of-19 (58%) from three-point range overall, while the Corsairs were held to 5-of-30 (17%) from deep.
- The Owls outrebounded the Corsairs 58-52 and saw their bench outscore UMD's 39-26 on the afternoon.
- It was the highest offensive output for KSC since Nov. 22, 2002, when the Owls beat Castleton 112-84. KSC fell 19 points shy of the school record for points in a game (131), which they reached against Lyndon State in 1972-73.
- The 51 point win was the largest ever against an LEC opponent, surpassing an 87-39 win over Rhode Island College in the 2001-02 season. KSC's biggest ever win, regardless of opponent, is a 99-30 win over Endicott in the 1997-98 season.
- Keene State will host No. 24 Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 pm. The game is a matchup of two teams who will enter with identical 5-0 conference records – winning every game by double-figures – and is also a rematch of last year's Little East Conference Tournament championship game.
- UMass Dartmouth will return home and host UMass Boston on the same night and time.