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Keene State Hosts Key LEC Men's Basketball Game

KEENE, N.H., 1/19/07 - The two top men’s basketball teams in the LEC will square off on Saturday when Keene State College hosts Rhode Island College (RIC) at Spaulding Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The KSC women’s basketball team will begin the doubleheader when they face the Anchorwomen at 1 p.m.

Both men’s teams enter the game tied for first place in the conference with 5-1 LEC records.

Keene State (13-2) saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday with a tough 73-71 loss to Eastern Connecticut State. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from that game and move on,” said KSC Coach Rob Colbert. “We’re going to treat Saturday just like any other game. Every conference game counts, so you have to maintain a steady approach.”

The Owls will take on an Anchormen (14-1) team that has won 11 straight games. Ranked 22nd, two spots above Keene State in the national poll, RIC poses several concerns for the Owls. “At this point of the season, Rhode Island College is probably one of the two top teams in New England,” said Colbert. “They’re talented, mature, deep, and well-coached.”

Both teams feature balanced attacks. Sophomore forwards Tyler Kathan (17.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG), this week’s LEC player of the week, and Nate Anderson (12.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG) are having fine seasons. Nick Drouin, a junior forward, has emerged as a solid inside threat, and junior guard David Sontag (10.2 PPG) gives the Owls stability and a strong defensive presence.

Off to its best start in program history, RIC has three sophomores scoring in double figures: All-LEC forward Kinsey Durgin (15.3 PPG) and guards Tirrell Hill (11.7 PPG) and Bobby Bailey (10.3 PPG). Sophomore forward Kaseem Johnson leads the Anchormen in rebounding with a 6.1 RPG average. Keene State must also keep an eye on senior guard Kmari Williams, who missed the first game between the two teams, when an 82-78 come-from-behind KSC victory took place in Providence back on Dec. 2.

“We’re going to have to compete every possession and hang tough if they go on a run,” said Colbert. “They’re a team that punishes you when you make a mistake.”

After dropping consecutive LEC games to Southern Maine (77-59) and Eastern Connecticut (61-53), the KSC women’s team (10-5, 4-2 LEC) finds itself tied for second in the conference with Eastern Connecticut and UMass-Boston. “I didn’t think we came out and played with a sense of urgency against Eastern Connecticut,” said KSC Coach Keith Boucher. “We need to do that for 40 minutes on Saturday.”

Sixth in the LEC, the RIC women (10-6, 2-4 LEC) are coming off a 67-56 win at home against Western Connecticut.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435