|University of New England||Keene State College|
KEENE, N.H. — Gavin Dibble (Greenport, N.Y.) poured in a career-high 30 points to guide the University of New England in a 95-69 men’s basketball victory over Keene State College on Friday evening (Dec. 30) at Spaulding Gym.
The Nor’easters improve to 3-7 with the result — almost reversed from last season’s 89-66 decision for the Owls in Biddeford. After opening the year with five straight wins, KSC is now 6-4.
Dibble exceeded his personal-best by 10 as UNE registered its highest scoring output of 2016-17 by 20 points. The junior guard made the first six field goals he looked at, all from downtown, and finished with a share of the top single-game three-point percentage (.857) over at least the last 28 campaigns of the program. Dibble also went 12-of-14 at the line and added six rebounds.
Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.) supported Big Blue with 19 points, nine assists, and six boards. He converted all nine of his free throws, helping UNE go 29-for-32 (90.6%) in the contest. Jean-Luc Parker (Georgetown, Texas) tossed in 16 points and picked up seven steals. After coming up empty on four shots in the 1st period, Tom Nason (Milton, N.H.) scored all of his 11 points on 5-of-7 tries in the 2nd, and had seven caroms. In addition to six points, Sam Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) pulled in 10 rebounds, and the Nor’easters totaled a 45-36 advantage on the glass.
For Keene State, Matt Ozzella recorded a double-double of 14 points (all in 2nd) and 10 rebounds. Jake Collagan tallied 10 of his 13 points following halftime.
The Owls were held more than 15 points below their season average (84.4) by the UNE defense; leading scorer Ty Nichols (16.5 ppg) was limited to four points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Overall, the Nor’easters connected at a 45 percent clip (27 of 60) and were slightly better from long distance (12 of 26). KSC fell off in the 2nd stanza to end up at 35 percent (23 of 65) and just 18 percent (5 of 28) from three-point land. The Owls also left 10 freebies on the table (18 of 28).
UNE nearly led from start-to-finish — all but 1:28 of the match. Both teams were a little slow at the beginning, as the visitors were up 12-8 through eight minutes of action. Keene State managed to grab a 22-19 edge, briefly, before the Nor’easters closed the final 6:20 into the break on a 24-10 run to gain a 43-32 cushion. Coveney and Dibble combined for 17 points (9 and 8) during the stretch.
The hosts appeared to find their groove in the initial moments of the 2nd, and got within two (46-44) before Dibble canned a three-pointer to preserve the lead for UNE. Nason and Ryan Matthews (Park Ridge, N.J.) accounted for the ensuing 12 points (7 and 5) as the Nor’easters extended the gap to 61-44 and never looked back in the remaining 12 minutes.