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Owl Basketball Teams Begin Seasons with Wins

KEENE, N.H. 11/19/05 - Both Keene State men’s and women’s basketball teams began their 2005-06 seasons by posting a pair of victories in their respective tip-off tournaments this weekend at Spaulding Gym.

Senior forward Sean Sullivan (Athol, Mass.) had 26 points to lead Keene State College to a 103-68 victory over the University of Maine-Machias on Saturday. The Owls (2-0) built up a big first half lead and coasted to its second victory in the tournament. Sullivan, who hit eight of his 12 shots from the field, had 20 first-half points to help Keene State to a 52-33 halftime lead. The Owls, who jumped out to an 11-2 lead, took a 30-15 lead on a lay-up by Sullivan at the 7:58 mark. After UMM cut the lead to seven (33-26) with 3:52 to go, KSC outscored the Clippers 19-7 the rest of the half. Anthony Licitra (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a pair of three-pointers in the closing minute. KSC’s lead was never threatened as in the second half David Sontag (Mont Vernon, N.H.), who finished with 16 points was named the tournament’s MVP, he joined Sullivan on the All-Tournament team.

Sontag had a game-high 27 points, and sophomore forward Nick Drouin (Weare, N.H.) came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points, including several key three-pointers down the stretch, to lead Keene State College to a season- opening 89-83 victory over Husson College of Maine in Friday’s first-round game.

Keene State scored the first 16 points of the game with Anthony Licitra’s (Glastonbury, Conn.) three-pointer putting the Owls up 16-0 at the 14:30 mark. But Husson gradually chipped away at the Owls lead. Buddy Leavitt (Gulford, Me), who had 15 first half points, hit a three-pointer at the buzzer that pulled the Eagles into a halftime tie (39-all) with the Owls. Sontag, who hit four of his five three-point attempts, had 16 first half points for Keene State.

The Owls weren’t able to pull away from the stubborn Eagles until the closing minutes. After Phillip White (Temple Hills, MD.) gave Husson its last lead (70-69) with a lay-up following at steal at the 6:39 mark, KSC put together an 8-1 run to take the lead (78-70) for good. Drouin hit consecutive three- pointers during the decisive run.

Freshman Tyler Kathan ( Ludlow, Vt.) had a team-high eight rebounds for the Owls.

Sophomore guard Danielle Graveley (Schenectady, N.Y.) led a balanced Owl offense with 15 points and tournament MVP Sarah Begnoche (Millville, Mass.)finished with 11 points and eight rebounds to lead Keene State College to a 72-64 victory over Fitchburg State College in the championship game of the 10th Annual PC Connection KSC Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday.

It’s the eighth straight year, and the ninth time in the last 10 years, the Owls (2-0) have captured their tournament.

Stacey Morse (Lebanon, N.H.) had 13 points and Bri Barnes (Merrimack, N.H.) finished with 10 points got the Owls. KSC freshman Michele Boudreau (Readsboro, Vt.) was also named to the All-Tournament team.

A back-and-forth first half featured eight lead changes. Graveley had 10 first half points for KSC while D’Yana Delpero (Peabody, Mass.) had 10 first half points for the Falcons. Liz Hogan (Millis, Mass.) hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to give FSC a slim 29-28 halftime lead.

Keene State used a 15-2 run midway in the second half to pull away from Fitchburg. Leading 52-49, KSC opened up a 16 point lead (67-51) on a free throw by Begnoche with 4:26 to play.

The KSC women’s team opened up its 2005-06 season with a 90-54 victory over Curry College in a first-round game of the PC Connection KSC Tip-off on Friday.

Begnoche had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead KSC. Senior guard Bekka Hopkins (Oxford, Mass.), who hit four of her six three-point attempts, finished with 14 points, and junior forward Caitlin Jamiel (Cranston, R.I.) added 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman forward Jenn Kinney (Salem, N.H.) came off the bench to score nine points and pull down 10 rebounds in her first Owl game.

The Owls gradually pulled away from Colonels on the way to building a 41-19 halftime lead. KSC buried three straight three-pointers to take an early 11-4 lead. Leading 20-10, KSC went on a 15-4 run to increase its advantage to 35-14 on a three-pointer by Hopkins with 3:51 to play. Begnoche had eight points and eight rebounds in the first half.

KSC maintained its lead in the second half, going up 58-33 on a lay-up by Hopkins following a steal by Michelle Boudreau (Readsboro, Vt.).

KSC , which shot 61 % from the field in the second half, hit eight of 21 three-point attempts.

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