KEENE, N.H. - Senior Nicole Simmler (Oxford, Mass.) tied her career high with 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds Tuesday evening to lead the Keene State College women's basketball team to a key 66-48 Little East Conference victory over rival Plymouth State University at Spaulding Gym.
Keene State improves to 15-8 (7-6 LEC) while Plymouth State falls to 15-9 (5-8 LEC). Keene State's win coupled with Rhode Island College's 60-57 loss to UMass Dartmouth moves the Owls into fourth place in the LEC standings; a win on Saturday against UMD will give KSC a home game in the opening-round of the LEC tournament. Plymouth State, which wraps up its season at RIC on Saturday, falls into a tie for sixth place with UMD.
The Owls used the three-ball to take a 25-23 halftime lead. KSC knocked down seven of its 19 three-point attempts, scoring 21 of its 25 points from behind the arc. Senior guard Alyssa Sapp (Hartford, Vt.) had four of them - all from the left of the key - while Simmler had the other three-point baskets.
Going more inside for offense at the start of the second half, KSC went on a 9-2 run out of the break to take a 34-25 lead on a lay-up by Simmler at the 15:40 mark. The Owls opened a 14-point lead (52-38) on a lucky-bounce three-pointer by Simmler with 5:10 to play.
Sapp finished with 14 points. Despite hitting only one field goal, senior guard Kristin Degou (Newburyport, Mass.) had 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Sophomore Alicia Doucet (Manchester, N.H./Central) scored 15 points and had seven rebounds and junior Amanda Kania (Manchester, N.H./West) added 11 points and nine rebounds to lead Plymouth State. Senior forward Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds.
PSU shot 15-of-62 from the field (24 percent) and 2-20 from behind the arc (10 percent) in the game. KSC was 11-30 from three-point land (37 percent) and hit 19 of its 20 free throws (95 percent).
The Owls earned a split of the season series with the Panthers. PSU defeated Keene State 62-59 in Plymouth back on Jan. 26.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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