PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West) scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds Tuesday evening to lead Plymouth State University to a 62-59 victory over Keene State College in a Little East Conference women's basketball contest at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Owls, posting their first win over Keene State since Feb. 8, 2005. PSU maintained the lead the entire second half but had to hold off the Owls down the stretch. Plymouth State (14-5 overall) pulls into a tie for fourth place in the LEC with Keene State (11-6), both teams at 4-4 in conference play.
Kania scored 11 of her 17 points in the first half, making 3-of-5 from three-point range. She finished the game with five threes on nine attempts. Senior Katie Sunderland (Londonderry, N.H.) was the next highest Panther in scoring with 11 points, and classmate Kalie Judd (Peabody, Mass.) finished with six points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals.
Senior Kristin Degou (Newburyport, Mass.) led all scorers with 18 points for Keene State, while sophomores Courtney Cirillo (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and Sara Laudano (North Haven, Conn.) contributed 15 points apiece. Cirillo finished with a double-double and she collected a game-high 10 rebounds.
Plymouth State took control first with an early 14-4 run to pull away to a double-digit lead (21-10) with 12 minutes on the first-half clock. PSU's biggest lead of the game (30-18) came with just under eight minutes to play, but Keene State rallied, outscoring the Panthers 16-2 over a four-and-a-half minute stretch, to take a 34-32 lead. The Panthers held it together and came back to lead by six at the half, 43-37.
Keene State got to within one point of the Panthers four times in the second half, at the 17, 11, 9 and 5-minute marks, but couldn't get a tying basket or take the lead. Each time the Owls got close, the Panther defense tightened and got a stop or a turnover. Keene trailed by just two points (59-57) with a minute to play, but Judd made a pair of key free throws and Sunderland added one to seal the win.
Neither team shot particularly well, PSU making just 35 percent from the field and KSC converting at a 32 percent clip. The Panthers were 11-of-26 from three-point land while the Owls made just 6-of-27 from long range.
Keene State returns home to host Middlebury in a non-conference game on Thursday. Plymouth State is back on the court Saturday in a Little East match-up at Eastern Connecticut State University (1:00 p.m.)
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