KEENE, N.H. -- Senior Kenzie Bennett’s (Lake George, N.Y.) converted a conventional three-point play with 13 seconds remaining, as Keene State overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to notch a 56-50 Little East Conference women’s basketball victory over UMass Dartmouth Wednesday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
A low scoring fourth quarter that featured four ties and five lead changes saw the host Owls (4-12, 3-4 LEC) take a 50-48 edge with 1:23 remaining on junior Tamra Gonyea’s (Meriden, Conn.) lay-in, but the visiting Corsairs (8-8, 3-4 LEC) forged the final draw of the day on junior Lauren Empey’s (Middleboro, Mass.) drive with 20 ticks on the clock. Bennett then provided the heroics following a timeout with a lay-in off an inbounds backscreen while drawing a foul, and freshman Hailey Derosia (Vernon, Vt.) converted three free throws in the closing final nine seconds following a missed three-pointer and turnover by UMass Dartmouth to account for the final margin.
The Corsairs grabbed a 12-7 advantage after the opening quarter of action, and Empey fueled a 23-point outburst in the second stanza with seven points that helped give the visitors a 35-26 cushion at the break. But UMass Dartmouth converted on just one of 14 field goals attempts in the third quarter, and Keene State capitalized with 16 points in that 10 minute stretch (five by Derosia) to pull within a bucket (44-42) heading into the final stanza and setting up Bennett’s heroics.
Derosia finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in the win for the Owls, who received 11 points and three caroms from Gonyea along with a pair of three pointers from freshman Katie Martineau (Farmington, N.H.). Junior Jordyn Burke (Bennington, Vt.) grabbed eight boards for Keene State, which shot 35 percent (19-54) from the field but converted 21 Corsair turnovers into 25 points.
Sophomore Jordan Moretti (Johnston, R.I.) notched a double-double effort of 13 points and 12 rebounds in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which also received 13 points, five boards and four blocks from Empey. Sophomore Jessica Carroll (Deep River, Conn.) and freshman Jennifer Driscoll (Westport, Mass.) each added six points for the visitors, who shot just 15 percent (4-26) from the floor in the final 20 minutes of play and 27 percent (16-59) overall. The Corsairs held a 45-40 rebounding advantage on the afternoon, including a 14-7 edge on the offensive glass.
UMass Dartmouth hosts Plymouth State in a Little East Conference clash on Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center that tips-off at 1:00 pm, while Keene State will be idle until next Wednesday, January 22nd when the Owls venture to Danbury, Conn. for a Little East outing with Western Connecticut that tips-off at 5:30 pm.