|University of Southern Maine||Keene State College|
KEENE, N.H. – Sophomore Ty Nichols (Springfield, Mass./Putnam) scored a game-high 27 points on an 11-for-16 performance from the field to lead four players in double figures as the Keene State College Owls defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies 85-66 in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
The win is the third straight for Keene State, which improves to 9-4 on the season and 2-1 in the Little East. Southern Maine falls to 5-8 with the loss and 0-3 in the LEC.
Nichols posted a double-double grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with his 27 points to lead KSC. Senior Matt Ozzella (Medway, Mass.) added a double-double with 20 points while matching Nichols on the boards with 10. Senior Lucas Hammel (Methuen, Mass./Central Catholic) and freshman Jake Collagan (Weathersfield, Conn.) rounded out the double-figures scoring chipping in with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Southern Maine junior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) led the Huskies with 17 points. Senior Zach Leal (York, Maine) was 7-for-12 from the field for 14 points, adding five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Senior James Starks III (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian) had eight points and a team-high nine rebounds, adding three assists.
Ozzella scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor, to lead the Owls to a big 47-29 lead at the break. KSC shot an outstanding 54.8 percent (17-for-31) from the field in the opening half. Nichols had 11 of his 27, while Hammel had eight.
KSC started the game hot scoring the first seven points of the game, and led the Huskies by 20, 29-9, with 11:46 to play, before USM used an 11-2 run to pull to within 31-20 with 8:14 on the clock. Four different players scored in the run for USM, capped by a layup from Leal. KSC responded however with back-to-back layups from Nichols and Hammel to push its lead to 35-20, and then outscored USM 12-9 to close out the half. KSC scored the first two baskets of the second half and then held for the win as USM was unable to get closer than 14 points the rest of the game.