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Owls Basketball Teams to Host Tip Off Tournaments

KEENE, N.H. 11/15/05 - Keene State College men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin their respective 2005-06 seasons by hosting tip-off tournaments this weekend at Spaulding Gym.

The 10th Annual PC Connection Keene State Women’s Basketball Tournament gets underway on Friday with the Owls facing Curry College of Milton, Mass. at 3 p.m. Fitchburg State will take on Castleton (Vt.) State in the other first- round game at 5 p.m. Consolation (1 p.m.) and championship games ( 3p.m.) are scheduled for Saturday.

The sixth annual KSC men’s basketball classic will use a format with pre- determined opponents. On Friday, Colby-Sawyer College goes up against Maine- Machias at 7 p.m. followed by the Keene State- Husson (Me.) College game at 9 p.m. Teams will swap opponents on Saturday with CSC facing Husson at 5 p.m. followed by the KSC-Maine-Machias contest at 7 p.m.

The Owl women, who have won their tournament nine out of the past 10 years, hope to get their season off on the right foot. “We’ve had a couple of good scrimmages, but we still have some work to do,” said KSC Coach Keith Boucher. “I just hope we come out and play with a lot of fire and intensity.”

Keene State (17-11, 9-5 LEC), which made its first-ever appearance in the Little East Tournament Championship game last season, will be led by senior tri-captains Bekka Hopkins (Oxford, Mass.), Stacey Morse (Lebanon, N.H.), and Megan Lane (Hawthorne, N.J.). LEC all-stars Bri Barnes (Merrimack, N.H.) and Sarah Begnoche (Millville, Mass.) should also be key contributors. Top newcomers include guard Michelle Boudreau (Readsboro, Vt.) and forward Jenn Kinney (Salem, N.H.).

Coming off a strong 23-7 campaign, Fitchburg State advanced to the finals of last year’s ECAC New England Tournament.

KSC defeated Curry College to 80-51 to claim last year’s Invitational championship.

The Keene State men’s team will be looking to capture its sixth straight tip- off title. KSC Coach Rob Colbert said his team is anxious to start the season. “I’m looking forward to us getting out of the gate on our home floor and seeing what were capable of doing,” he said. “It’s a chance for us to play a couple of games and see a team we play 10 days later.”

KSC will face Colby-Sawyer at the Jacob’s Bridge through Autism Tournament at N.H. Tech in Concord on Nov. 29.

Keene State (15-11), which lost to Colby-Sawyer 89-61 in a first round ECAC Tournament game last year, will be led by senior forward and LEC all-star Sean Sullivan (Athol, Mass.). Forwards Ben Maynard (Nobleboro, Me.), and Adam Gervais (Chelsea, Me.) and sophomore guards David Sontag (Mont Vernon, N.H.) and Matt Hickey (Mahopac, N.Y.) lead the list of returnees. Meanwhile, Tyler Kathan (Ludlow, Vt.), Nate Anderson (Westminster, Mass.) and transfer Stanley Chamblain are top newcomers to the program.

“I think we have the potential to be good,” said Colbert, who is still contemplating questions regarding the line-up and team chemistry. “We should be bigger and display more toughness.”

“I think we’re going to be a work in progress,” he added. “We have so many good players, we could field two teams. Some nights our best line-up might not be the one that starts.”

Keene State defeated Salve Regina University 81-69 to capture last year’s Invitational championship.

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