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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Keene State College Owls Outshine UMass Boston Beacons, 82-58

(Courtesy Keene State College Sports Information Department)

KEENE, N.H.-Senior forward Matt Wheeler (Shrub Oak, N.Y.) had a game-high 21 points to lead the top-seeded Keene State College men’s basketball team to a 82-58 victory over eighth-seed UMass Boston in a Little East Conference quarterfinal game played Tuesday night at Spaulding Gym.

With the victory, Keene State (21-5) advances to the semifinal round where they host fourth seed Western Conn, (16-10) on Friday night (8pm). WCSU edged fifth seed Rhode Island College 98-94 in Danbury, Conn.

In the other quarterfinal games, second seed Plymouth State got by seventh seed Southern Maine 75-70 and sixth seed UMass Dartmouth upset third seed Eastern Conn. 62-61. PSU will face UMD in the other semifinal game on Friday (6pm) at Spaulding Gym.

Keene State, which extended its winning streak over UMB to 14 games, struggled in the first half against the pesky Beacons. Pulling ahead by eight points (12-4), the Owls were held scoreless over a span six minutes as UMB went on a 21-0 run to take a 25-12 lead on a three-pointer by Tony Barros (Dorchester, Mass.) at the 8:11 mark.

KSC regrouped to take a 34-30 lead on a lay-up by Wheeler with 2:42 to go in the half.

A pair of free throws by Joe Shaw (Concord, N.H.) with no time remaining gave KSC a slim 36-34 lead at the break.

The Owls finally broke away from the Beacons early in the second half. With the score knotted at 40-all, KSC went on a 13-2 run to pull away for good. A break away lay-up by Alphonse Michalski (Northampton, Mass.) made it 53-42 at the 12:02 mark.

“We got some easy baskets, regained our confidence, and found a way to win,” said KSC Coach Rob Colbert.

Chris Timson (Beverly, Mass.) had 16 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds. Harley Davis (Newburyport, Mass.) added 13 points for KSC.

Barros, who hit six-of-seven three-point shots, had 18 points to lead UMass-

Boston (5-21). Roger Perry (Roxbury, Mass.) had 16 points and Eric Summerville finished with 11 points. Eddie Ramos (Malden, Mass.) topped UMB with 12 rebounds.

It was the third time KSC has defeated UMB in an opening round LEC Tournament game.

KSC last hosted the championships rounds of the Tournament in 2002 when it lost to Western Conn. in the finals 86-83.