Posted: Feb 03, 2018
KEENE, N.H. – The Keene State College men's basketball team took command early and never let up en route to a 77-49 Little East Conference victory over Rhode Island College on Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 15-6, 9-1 LEC
- Rhode Island College: 4-16, 2-8 LEC
How It Happened
Ty Nichols poured in 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor to lead the Owls. He added seven rebounds, five assists and a steal. Dizel Wright chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks, while DeVon Beasley also recorded 10 points, two rebounds and a steal. Sidi Diallo had a team-high nine rebounds off the bench.
Rhode Island College put two in double-figures, with Justin Campbell's 11 points, four rebounds and one block leading the way. Roosevelt Shider made 3-of-6 from three point range, scoring 10 points. CJ Donaldson had seven points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals, while Malcolm Smith had a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench for the Anchormen, who fell to 1-9 on the road.
Keene State started fast and never let up, getting two Beasley threes around a Nichols jumper to lead 10-2 less than four minutes in. RIC got within 12-6, but a layup from Olson and a bucket and free throw from Miguel Prieto restored it back to double-digits again (17-6). A triple from Diallo and a layup from James Anozie pushed the lead out to 25-9 halfway through the first. Trailing 27-12, Rhode Island College did rattle off eight points in a row, highlighted by a four-point play from Shider, to get within seven (27-20) with 5:05 to go. Keene State's offense, which had slowed, did get back in gear as they got a trey from Kyle Santoro and a dunk from Nichols in the final 1:19 to restore the lead back up to 35-21 going into the break.
A Nichols jumper kicked off the second half and, a few minutes later, he made two layups around a jumper from Prieto that put the Owls up 45-24 with 16:49 remaining. Keene State continued to blow the game open, scoring 11 consecutive points in a span of 2:25 to go up 58-25 with 12:35 left. Beasley had two layups and Anozie a bucket and free throw during the run. Two free throws from Prieto nearly halfway through the second stanza kept the lead at 62-32 and the Owls cruised from there. Anozie scored again down low and Nichols tipped in Wright's miss at the 7:03 mark to make it 71-38. The Anchormen scored 11 of the next 13 points to get within 73-49, but KSC scored the last four points to set the final score.
In the Paint
- Keene State shot over 50% from the field, connecting on 29-of-55 overall. The Owls also made 15 of their 21 free throw attempts (71%), while holding Rhode Island College to just 27% (16-of-59) shooting overall. KSC assisted on 16 of their 29 made field goals.
- RIC had a slight 41-37 advantage in rebounding, but was undone by 19 turnovers that led to 26 KSC points. The Owls outscored the Anchormen 26-10 off turnovers and 40-22 in the paint.
- Keene State's win helps them keep pace with Eastern Connecticut, who was an 84-70 home winner over UMass Boston this afternoon. The Owls and Warriors matchup for the second and final time in Willimantic on Wednesday night. ECSU has a one-game lead over KSC and prevailed in 70-64 in the first meeting between the two teams.
- The Owls swept the season series with Rhode Island College, previously winning 79-58 in Providence, and is 7-1 in the last eight meetings with the Anchormen. KSC is also 16-2 in their last 18 games at Spaulding Gym.
- As mentioned, Keene State has a key Little East Conference game at No. 16 Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday, February 7. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 pm.
- Rhode Island College will host Elms College on Monday, February 5 at 7:00 pm.