|University of Southern Maine||Keene State College|
KEENE, N.H. – Junior Sandi Purcell (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) scored 11 of her team-high 19 points to lead the Keene State College Owls to a 68-63 come-from-behind win over the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gym.
With its second straight win, Keene State improves to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the Little East Conference. Southern Maine dips to 2-11 overall and 1-2 in the Little East. It is the third game this season that USM has dropped by five points or less.
Purcell knocked down four three-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter, to lead two Owls in double-figures. Senior Stephanie D’Annolfo (Tyngsborough, Mass.) added 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals in a near triple-double for Keene State.
Southern Maine sophomore Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) led three Huskies in double-figures with 19 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line. Freshman Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) continued her strong rookie season with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Luckhardt was an outstanding 7-for-9 from the field. Junior Emily Nicholson (Quispamsis, New Brunswick/Kennebecasis) added 15 points, three rebounds and three steals, while rookie Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) added nine points, six rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots.
In a closely contested game, Southern Maine took a narrow two-point lead into the break as Srolovitz hit a jumper with 14 seconds left in the second quarter out of a team timeout. The Huskies successfully defended Keene State’s final possession to lead 33-31 at the half.
The game remained tight in the third quarter with the teams exchanging the lead twice. Bennett gave KSC a 35-36 lead with a three with 7:02 left in the quarter before USM rattled off seven unanswered points for a 42-36 lead with 4:43 to play. Srolovitz scored four points in the run. Both teams exchanged points on their next possessions, before KSC sophomore Emily McFadden (Tyngsborough, Mass.) canned a three for the final points of the quarter to leave the score at 44-41 in favor of USM.
USM scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to grab its biggest lead of the game, 50-41, capped by a Luckardt layup with 7:23 remaining in the game, before KSC mounted its comeback. Led by a pair of threes from Purcell, the Owls scored 11 straight points to grab a 52-50 lead with 5:26 to play. Nicholson stopped the KSC run and retook the lead for the Huskies when she was fouled attempting a three and sank all three free throws for a 53-52 lead for USM with 5:10 to play, but KSC snagged the lead for good with another 11-0 run for a 63-53 lead with 2:58to play. Purcell scored four points in the run. USM responded to make it a two-possession game with an 8-2 run, including threes from Srolovitz and Nicholson, trailing 65-61 with 1:12 to play, but the Owls closed the game out making 3-of-4 from the free throw line to secure the win.