KEENE, N.H. - Ty Nichols had a 33 point, 11 rebound double-double as the Keene State College men's basketball team used a 30-11 second half run to post their sixth straight victory, 82-70 over in-state rival Plymouth State University in LEC action Wednesday night at Spaulding Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 14-7, 9-3 LEC
- Plymouth State: 11-10, 5-7 LEC
How It Happened
Nichols also had three assists and a steal while recording his fifth double-double of the season. James Anozie made 10-of-13 at the line and scored 14 points, while Edwin Ezedonmwen had 11 points, six rebounds, three steals, one assist and one block. KSC also got bench contributions from Nyzair Rountree, who had seven points, six rebounds and two steals, and Tony Harris, who also chipped in seven points and six boards. Plymouth State received 18 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals from Dante Rivera.
Keene State got off to a strong start, as a three from Nichols just over two minutes in put the home team up 8-4, and later Ezedonmwen had a four-point play and a layup on consecutive possessions for a 16-9 lead at the 15:37 mark. The Panthers immediately responded, as seven straight points from Jaylen LeRoy and a three from Rivera gave the visitors their first lead of the game (19-16) just three minutes later. Nichols came right back with a trey of his own to stop the run, and then he and Harris connected from long range on back-to-back trips as the Owls restored a 27-21 lead at the 9:48 mark after going on an 11-2 surge. The teams continued to trade runs, as PSU tallied eight of the next nine over a three-minute span for a one-point lead, but KSC edged out to a 34-29 advantage after Rountree's bucket with 5:06 to go in the opening half. The Panthers had the final surge heading into the break, as they outscored the home team 12-5 to lead 41-39 at halftime. PSU shot 52% in the first half and made 5-of-11 from deep, while KSC shot 48% and made 6-of-10 threes.
It was much of the same in the initial stages of the second half, as Manny Alisandro's jumper not even two minutes in put the visitors up a game-high five points, but the Owls came back to lead 52-49 at the 13:54 mark after Nichols' putback. Rivera's layup a little over two minutes later helped Plymouth nudge back in front (54-52), but KSC then embarked on their decisive run which included scoring 17 of the next 19 points for a 69-56 lead with 6:28 to go. The uprising was capped by Paul Mahon feeding Rountree for a transition dunk before Nichols and Harris both converted inside. Joe Simpson's three got Plymouth within 10, but Harris' offensive rebound and putback made it 71-59 at the 5:36 mark, and, with just under three minutes to go, Nichols' three put the Owls up 15 (76-61). Miguel Prieto fed Mahon for threes on consecutive trips in the final two minutes as Keene State went up 82-65 and salted away their sixth straight win. KSC got 19 points and seven rebounds from Nichols in the second half while holding Plymouth to 31% (11-of-35) shooting.
Inside the Paint
- Mahon connected on 3-of-5 from long range in the contest and is now 33-of-65 (51%) on the season. The Owls as a team made double-digit threes six times in January (going 6-0 in such contests) and made nine one other time.
- KSC assisted on 17 of 25 made field goals.
- Keene State swept the regular season series with the Panthers and has won nine of the last 11 head-to-head matchups.
- The win was head coach Ryan Cain's 75th with the Owls. He is 75-37 (.670), currently in his fourth season.
- Keene State makes a trip to Vermont for a matchup with Castleton University on Saturday, February 2. Tip-off is at 3:00 pm.
- Plymouth State entertains Western Connecticut State University on the same day.