BANGOR, Maine – Husson lost to Keene State 90-78 Thursday night at Newman Gymnasium in a thrilling 2012 season-opening men’s basketball game.
The Eagles used on-point 3-point shooting in the first half to lead by 15 with just over seven minutes left in the frame. The Owls were too much late, playing both ends of the floor to near perfection.
The two teams traded baskets in the early going as the first two scores on either side were three-pointers. Phil Leighton and Aaron Willis both hit threes around the 11 minute mark to extend the Husson lead to six. The Eagles then rode the momentum of hot shooting and a raucous home crowd to a 15 point lead.
Keene State closed the gap to four moving towards halftime, going on a 15-4 run after Husson took its 15 point lead.
The Owls took over in the second half, staying close in the opening minutes. Eric Fazio and Rashad Wright both scored multiple times along with a huge three-pointer from Ryan Martin to give Keene their first lead since early in the first half as they led 3-0.
Keene then held onto two and three point leads for several minutes until Martin was forced to the bench with his fourth foul. The Owls picked up where Martin left off, laying in twice by way of Tre Tipton and Tom Doyle. Keene led 66-59
The pace of the game was ferocious as moments later Anthony Mariano sunk two free-throws to give Keene their largest lead of the game 80-66.
Husson started to crawl back however, as Wes Murphy hit a three, Eric Modica and Marc Zaharchuk both sank a pair of foul shots and Jacob Moore drained two jumpers to bring the Eagles within six, 82-76.
Mariano turned over to Husson two possessions later and Eric Modica brought the home team to within four.
Martin and his Owl squad were too much for Husson, though, as he made Husson pay moments later on a wide open three from the corner. The senior guard scored seven of Keene’s final eight points to seal the win.
Of the loss Husson head coach Warren Caruso said: “That was a good college basketball game. Two good teams, a great atmosphere and they made a couple more plays down the stretch and that was probably the biggest difference in the game. Certainly for us, it was a good start to the year as we have a lot to build on, and we need to make sure we build on this moving forward.”
The Husson men will return to action at home to take on St. Joe’s on November 29th at 7:30, with the women’s game tipping off and 5:30.