December 10, 2011

Bench Lifts Keene State to Conference Win Over Men's Basketball

Box Score

BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Derek D'Amours team-best 25 points, 13 of which came in the second half, the Owls of Keene State College (6-2, 2-0 Little East) defeated men's basketball (3-6, 0-2 Little East) by the final score of 89-65 Saturday afternoon in a Little East Conference match-up in the Clark Athletic Center. 

D'Amours proved to be driving force behind the Owls bench, which had 42 points on the day.  Along with a +20 advantage on the glass (48-28), the Owls remained perfect in conference play going into their winter break.  Helping out on the scoreboard was Eric Fazio who finished with 13 points, and Montel Walcott and Ryan Martin who each had 11 points.  Keene State was also impressive from 3-point range as they shot 43.5% on the day (10-for-23).

The Beacons were led by senior guard Isaac Jenkins (Pordenone, Italy) and freshman guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.).  The duo each had 15 points in the conference loss, with Jenkins going 5-for-12 from the field and DeLucia 5-for-11.  They also recorded four of the Beacons five 3-pointers, with the only other long range basket coming from Mike Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fla.).

Freshman center Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.) had another strong afternoon, following his first career double-double in Thursday's win over Lesley University.  The 6'6" native of Florida dropped in eight points, and also had eight rebounds in 31 minutes of work.  Four of the Beacons starting five played 30+ minutes on Saturday.

Both teams would shoot over 40%, with the edge going to Keene State who was 34-for-71 from the field (47.9%).  UMass Boston finished the game 25-for-62 (40.3%) from the floor, and led the contest at the free throw line as they shot 76.9% (10-for-13).

Hoping to pullout the upset, and improve their conference record to .500, the Beacons came out ready to win on Saturday.  The first 20 minutes of play was a back-and-forth affair that eventually ended with the Owls holding a slim six-point lead.

After the break, that same type of play continued but it was the Beacons that were making some noise in the opening minutes of the second half.  UMass Boston overcame an early nine-point deficit and cut it down to one with just under 15 minutes to play.  Fueling the early rally was Clark, Jenkins, DeLucia, and freshman Erving Morales (Miami, Fla.).

However with a run of their, the Owls never surrendered the lead and quickly made it a 12 point game with 10:36 left in the contest. Even with the Owls gaining more and more breathing room, the Beacons knew that there was still enough time on the clock to mount another comeback, which they started to do with the help of some clutch free-throw and long-range shooting by DeLucia.

Unfortunately just like their first rally, the Beacons were unable to keep that momentum alive as Keene came storming back with a barrage of 3-point shots and offensive rebounds.

Men's Basketball returns to action on December 29 when they face Eastern University at 11 a.m. as part of the 2011 Big Easy Challenge in New Orleans, Louisiana.