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Owls Defeat Panthers 88-52 in 100th Meeting Between Rivals

KSC's Tyler Kathan
KSC's Tyler Kathan

Keene N.H., 1/23/2008 - The Keene State men’s basketball team commemorated the 100th meeting between its longtime rival Plymouth State University by defeating the Panthers 88-52 in a Little East Conference game played at Spaulding Gym on Tuesday night.

The series that began in 1934 when Keene Normal School defeated Plymouth Normal 63-19 now stands at 51-49 in the Owls’ favor.

The two teams didn’t face each other from 1985 to 1996 when KSC played in Division II. The rivals hooked up again when the Owls joined Division III and the LEC in the 1997-98 season. In LEC play, the Owls hold a 17-10 series lead. KSC has won the last five meetings.

Junior forward Tyler Kathan (Ludlow, Vt.), who was honored prior to the game for scoring his 1000th career point earlier in the season, finished with 24 points, including 19 in the first half to lead the Owls (10-6, 4-2 LEC) to their fourth in five games. Kathan connected on six of his nine three-point attempts in the game. Senior forward Nick Drouin (Weare, N.H.) added 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

“We got a lot of our weapons going early because of the up-tempo play,” said KSC Coach Rob Colbert. We didn’t have to be as deliberate and the guys were getting open looks. You also have to give credit to our defense that limited Plymouth to 25 points in the first half.”

The Owls took advantage of late 18-6 run to take a 44-25 halftime lead. Kathan was a one-man wrecking crew, hitting seven of his 10 field goal attempts and five of his seven shots behind the arc.

The Panthers opened the second half with a 14-2 run to cut the Owls’ lead to seven points (46-39) on a three-pointer from the top of the key by sophomore guard Jason O’Keefe (Everett, Mass.) at the 14:37 mark.

KSC used the three ball to regain control of the game. Back-to-back three- pointers by senior guard Matt Hickey (Mahopac, N.Y.) put the Owls on top by 19 (67-48) with 8:10 to play. KSC was 12 of 25 (48%) from behind the arc and 14 of 16 (87.5%) from the line. A reverse lay up by Drouin extended KSC’s lead to 71-48 with 5:19 to play. KSC, which also had a wide advantage on the boards (42-26), held PSU to just four points over the last 10:01 of the game.

The Owls host Mitchell College in a nonconference game on Thursday night (7:30 p.m.)

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