Beacons Clip Owls

Jason Campos

Senior Seiko Kudo scored 20 points and junior Andreen Gilpin contributed 19 points and 16 rebounds on an 8 for 12 shooting effort as the women’s basketball team overcame a sluggish start to defeat the Owls of Keene State College, 66-50. The Beacons improved their record to 10-6.

“Kudo took this game personal,” said Coach Shawn Polk after the game. “She didn’t score any points the first time we played against them (Keene State).”

The beginning of the game did not go the Beacons way. The Owls came out with good defensive pressure and executed their offensive game plan with patience and precision.

The Beacons did not score their first points until five minutes had elapsed when Gilpin sunk a free throw.

UMB fought back as Kudo hit back-to-back three pointers to cut KSU’s lead to 15-12. A short time later Gilpin crashed the offensive boards and put a shot in off the glass to give the Beacons their first lead of the game at 16-15. Kudo, Gilpin, and the rest of the Beacons built the lead to 9 at halftime, 31-22.

The start of the second half promised much of the same as the end of the first half. Felicia Haynes hit a twelve foot jumper to increase the lead to a game high 19 points, 51-32.

The Owls did not roll over though. KSU managed to cut the lead to nine points, 57-48, with 1:53 left to play. The Beacons as a team struggled at the free throw line and the Owls seemed bent on having UMB beat them at the charity stripe.

The Beacons let the ball be placed in the hands of the woman on a mission, Kudo, who proceeded to hit 9 of 12 free throws that sealed the win for Beacons, giving the team its third conference win. Polk acknowledged how important the victory was for her players, especially with Little East Conference leaders Southern Maine and Eastern Connecticut State coming up on the schedule. “We’re fighting through some injuries right now and we’ve got a tough schedule coming up.”