KEENE, N.H. - Records are made to be broken, and on Monday night at Spaulding Gymnasium, one that stood for 43 years was rewritten. Ty Nichols needed eight points, and wound up finishing with 28, to surpass Al Hicks '76 and become the Keene State men's basketball program's new all-time leading scorer as the Owls downed Colby-Sawyer College 83-73 for their third straight win.
- Keene State: 11-7
- Colby-Sawyer: 9-9
How It Happened
Nichols made 12-of-21 from the field, including 3-of-7 from distance, on the night while adding seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Miguel Prieto finished with 16 points, 13 of which came after halftime, four rebounds and three assists, while Ben Olson had 12 points and seven rebounds. Dana Bean led Colby-Sawyer with 17 points.
The Chargers started fast, opening the game on a 12-4 run over the first 4:07 behind six points from Bean and four from Patrick Coffey. It was still 14-8 CSC a few minutes later, but Keene State came to life, tying the game at 14 after consecutive Nichols to Olson feeds with just under 13 minutes remaining. The Owls took their first lead of the contest (16-14) after Olson made two from the line and did not look back from there, as Colby-Sawyer tied the game three times shortly after but never led again. Nichols' milestone bucket came at the 9:49 mark, as he drained a stepback two just inside the three-point line to put KSC up 21-19. The home team was subsequently off to the races, as Nichols scored twice sandwiching a three from Edwin Ezedonmwen in a quick 9-0 run that made it 30-21 KSC with just over seven minutes left. After the Chargers got back within four, Nichols rattled off five straight points to restore the lead to nine and, later, another Olson layup made it 39-28 at the 3:50 mark. Keene State shot a sizzling 64% (18-of-28) and got 23 points from Nichols in the opening half to lead 47-33 at the break.
The opening minutes of the second half were a similar story, as consecutive threes not even two minutes in from Paul Mahon and Prieto bumped the lead up to 53-37, which was later extended to 18 (57-39) after Ezedonmwen's layup at the 16:10 mark. Colby-Sawyer stayed within striking distance, as they embarked on a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to get the deficit under double digits, but the Owls had answers to every rally by the visitors, as Prieto canned a three to make it 62-51 with just over nine minutes to go. CSC got within eight less than a minute later after Terrence Harvey, Jr.'s three-point play and Jourdain Bell's jumper, but Nichols scored inside and Prieto followed with the next four points to make it 69-56 with 6:18 on the clock. Mahon and Nichols followed with treys and Olson two free throws over the next four minutes as KSC salted the game away with a 10-2 run that put them up 79-60 with about three minutes left. After trailing 81-62, the Chargers tallied 11 of the last 13 points to set the final margin.
Inside the Paint
- Nichols now has 2,044 career points, good for third among active Division III players. He also entered the day second in points per game in the country this season, only behind Aston Francis of Wheaton College (Ill.)
- The Owls shot 49% (30-of-61) in the contest and Colby-Sawyer 38% (26-of-68). KSC also had 22 assists on 30 made field goals and a 42-28 edge in points in the paint.
- Keene State is 11-3 all-time against the Chargers and has won the last nine meetings.
- "My teammates, definitely. The coaches, of course, and I'd just like to thank my whole support system. There is not one person or one group of people that got me to where I am today. I appreciate all of the support that everybody gives me. I'm not going to keep bragging about this because I want to focus on the season as a whole and trying to bring another championship to the school." - KSC senior Ty Nichols on becoming the new men's basketball all-time scoring leader.
- Keene State makes a visit to UMass Boston on Wednesday, January 23 for a Little East contest that tips off at 7:30 pm.
- Colby-Sawyer goes to Lasell College on Thursday, January 24 for a GNAC game at 7:00 pm.