GORHAM, Maine - The Keene State College women's basketball team erased an initial 19-6 deficit and took the lead early in the second half, but eventually fell 48-40 to the University of Southern Maine in LEC action Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 2-10, 0-4 LEC
- Southern Maine: 8-2, 4-1 LEC
How It Happened
Lilly Shlimon had 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal to pace the Owls, while Tamra Gonyea had seven points on 3-of-4 shooting and four rebounds. Jackie Luckhardt had a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double, but was the only Husky in double-figures.
USM forced eight KSC turnovers in the opening quarter and went out to a 7-2 lead a little over four minutes in. A basket from Gonyea at the 4:24 mark had the Owls back within three, but the Huskies tallied the next eight to go up 15-4 and led 17-6 after one. Free throws from Michelle Rowe and Alexa Srolovitz in the opening moments of the second quarter had Southern Maine up 13, but Keene State slowly chipped away after that, as a three from Hien Thach and a jumper from Abby Thut made it 19-11 with 6:54 left in the half. The Huskies were still up 10 (25-15) at the 2:24 mark, but the Owls scored the final six points of the half, as a three-point play from Shlimon and a long distance shot from Thach made it a 25-21 game at the break.
The KSC run continued to open the second half, as Shlimon scored six points in the first three minutes to put the visitors ahead for the first time since it was 2-0. First, she canned a trey to bring the Owls within one, and later she converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put Keene State up 27-25 at the 7:16 mark. USM retook the lead for the moment, but KSC went back ahead with 4:37 to go, as Jordyn Burke made two from the charity stripe for a 29-28 advantage. However, Southern Maine closed the third quarter by scoring the final nine points for a 37-29 lead. Shlimon made a free throw and Kenzie Bennett a jumper in the opening minute-plus of the final quarter as Keene State got back within five, but the Owls then did not score over the next 4:49 and found themselves down 42-34 with 4:04 left. Gonyea's three at the 2:37 mark still had KSC within that same margin (46-38), but they could get no closer.
Inside the Paint
- Both teams struggled from the floor, as the Owls shot 27.5% (14-of-51) and USM 30% (18-of-60). KSC made just 4-of-22 (18%) from long distance and Southern Maine 2-of-15 (13%).
- Keene State held Southern Maine to their lowest point total and lowest field goal percentage of the season.
- The Huskies outrebounded the Owls 48-33, including 17-8 on the offensive end which led to a 14-5 edge in second chance points.
- Keene State has lost their last four meetings against Southern Maine after winning six of the previous seven.
- The Owls stay on the road to visit Plymouth State University on Tuesday, January 8 at 5:30 pm.
- Southern Maine hosts Western Connecticut State University on the same day at 3:00 pm.