GORHAM, Maine – Junior guard Ryan Martin (Wayne, Maine/Maranacook) scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Keene State College Owls to a 79-60 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
The Owls improve to 9-3 on the season and remain undefeated in conference play at 3-0. The Huskies drop their fourth straight game to fall to 6-6 overall and are still looking for their first win in conference action at 0-3.
Holding a slim 40-39 advantage with 15:56 on the clock in the second half, Keene State used a quick 12-2 run over the next minute and 40 seconds to grab control of the game and lead the Huskies 52-41 with 14:16 on the clock. Martin scored five of his 28 points in the run, including a rare four-point play, while junior center Rashad Wright (Agawam, Mass./South Kent) added eight points.
The Huskies continued to fight however, and pulled to within six of the Owls, 59-56, following a lay-up from sophomore guard Brandon Tomah (Princeton, Maine/Calais) off of a steal from senior guard Brian Alexander (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) with just under 10 minutes in the half.
But the Owls put the brakes on any thoughts of a USM come-back bid with a 14-2 run over the next five and a half minutes to lead 73-55 with 3:58 to play. Martin again pushed the play for Keene scoring eight of its points in the run, including a perfect 6-for-6 mark from the free throw line.
From there the Owls outscored USM 6-5 down the stretch for the 79-60 final. Both teams were fairly equal from the field with Keene shooting 44.4 percent (28-for-63) and the Huskies shooting 43.6 percent (24-for-55) but the Owls held a distinct advantage on the free throw line. The Owls made 20 of 24 attempts (83.3 percent) compared to the Huskies 9-for-24 effort (37.5 percent).
Martin finished the game 7-for-14 from the field and 12-for-13 from the free throw line. Wright finished with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Southern Maine sophomore guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) led the Huskies with 14 points. Tomah, junior guard Alex Kee (Bath, Maine/Morse) and senior forward Jeremy Jackson (Laplace, La./Independence) each scored nine points. Jackson led all rebounders with 10.
Southern Maine travels to Rhode Island College on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.). Keene State hosts Western Connecticut on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.)