Keene State Bumps UMB Out of Playoffs

Jason Campos

Thus endeth the season. A poor shooting night (28 FG%) for the Beacons spelled doom as the Owls of Keene State pulled away with five minutes left in a tightly contested game for a 65-52 victory in a first round match in a Little East Conference tournament. The Beacons finish the season with an overall record of 14-12.

The game featured long periods of scoring draughts, as both teams at times found difficulty finding an offensive rhythm. Keene State took an early 8-4 lead after consecutive three pointers, forcing the Beacons to call an early timeout.

The Beacons poor shooting would have really hurt them on the scoreboard if it were not for the aggressive rebounding on the offensive boards (23 total for the game), most notably Little East Conference co-player of the Week Andreen Gilpin, who had seven offensive rebounds in the first half alone.

Things began to look bad for the Beacons when the Owls went on a 7-0 run and Gilpin took a hard spill as she was going for a rebound. It was a few minutes before Gilpin could get up, but she left under her own power and returned to action a few minutes later.

The Owls extended the lead to 23-11 before the Beacons had their first offensive spurt of the game. Senior Keyanna Smith hit a deep three that was followed by baskets from juniors Jamila Gales and Felicia Haynes. After a Keene State timeout, junior Kristen Bowes buried a trey to tie the score at 23. A Gilpin jumper finished off a 12-0 UMB run. A three-point play by Gales concluded the scoring in the first half as the Beacons went to the locker with a 28-25 lead.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first half as UMB struggled to find an offensive flow. Keene State’s Aly Araque rattled off a quick five points to help the Owls retake the lead and build it to eight points at 39-31.

After a timeout, the Beacons chipped away at the Owl lead as freshman Elizabeth Loewen hit a three pointer, Gales scored on an inside move, and Bowes put in a jumper. Gilpin later helped tie the game and then pushed the Beacons to lead with a bank shot. The game then took an irreversible turn. With the Beacons up 50-48, with less than five minutes remaining, Keene State ripped off seven consecutive points to force a timeout by UMB. Four more points by the Owls put the lead at 60-50 and the game out of reach for UMB.