KEENE, N.H. - Senior forward Sarah Begnoche (Millville, Mass.) scored 27 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds Tuesday evening to lead second-seeded Keene State College to a 72-56 win over rival and seventh-seeded Plymouth State University in a quarterfinal game of the Little East Conference women's basketball tournament at Spaulding Gym.
Keene State (20-5) advances to the semifinals against the winner of the #3 UMass Boston vs. #6 Western Connecticut contest. It's the first 20-win season since 1989-90 for the Owls who also tied a school mark for consecutive wins (10) set in 1982-83. PSU concludes the season with a 6-19 record.
Begnoche was red-hot all night, connecting on 11 of 12 shots from the field. She had hit nine of 12 shots a week ago en route to 20 points in a regular season win against Plymouth State. Senior guard Bri Barnes (Merrimack, N.H.) was the only other Owl in double figures with 16 points.
Freshman Karly Gray (Southampton, Mass.) scored 10 points to lead the Panthers, and wrap up a strong rookie campaign. She led the Panthers in scoring with 9.2 points per game, and was the team's top scorer in eight games this season. Gray was the only Panther basketball player, men or women, to start every game this season.
PSU also got eight points apiece from guards Meghan MacDonald (Salem, N.H.) and Annie Alosa (Concord, N.H.)
The Owls used a 15-6 run midway in the first half to go up 30-12. Begnoche scored six of her 10 first-half points during that stretch. Barnes also had 10 first half points for the Owls. KSC, which shot 57 percent from field (16-for-28), took a 39-25 lead to the locker room.
The Panthers cut the Owls' lead to 11 points (59-48) with 5:38 to play. But Barnes buried a three-pointer from the corner on KSC's next possession. PSU never threatened Keene State's lead the rest of the way. KSC finished the game with a 46-26 advantage off the boards.
Keene State and Plymouth State have hooked up four times in LEC quarterfinal play with the Owls prevailing in the last three meetings.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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