KEENE, N.H. – Ty Nichols had game-high totals of 34 points and nine rebounds to lift the Keene State College Owls to an 80-59 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Spaulding Gymnasium.
The win is the second in a row for the Owls, who improve to 10-7 overall and 6-3 in the Little East. Southern Maine drops its third straight and is now 4-11 overall and 2-6 in the LEC action.
Nichols was one of three players to score in double figures for the Owls, shooting 11-for-23 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Nichols also had four assists. Paul Mahon went 5-for-9, including a 3-for-6 mark from three for the Owls, while Edwin Ezedonmwen added 12 points, and five rebounds on 4-for-9 shooting – all three-pointers. KSC shot 45.3 percent (29-for-64) for the game, and knocked down 11 threes.
Senior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) led USM with 19 points. McCue was 6-for-9 (3-for-5 from three) from the field. Junior Derek Haney had a season-high 16 points off of the bench, shooting 5-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from three-point range. Junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) finished with nine points, four assists and a steal.
After a closely played first half, Southern Maine trailed the Owls by two, 35-33 (17:46) early in the second following back-to-back threes from Pitts-Young and McCue. However, the Owls responded with a 6-0 spurt, including layups from Nichols and Mahon. KSC remained in front but the Huskies were within striking distance down 10, 55-45, after a three from junior Keenan Hendricks with just under 10 minutes to play, before the Owls rattled off 13 unanswered points to take control 68-45 with 5:24 on the clock. Nichols scored five of the Owls points in the run. From there USM never got closer than 17 points en route to the 80-59 final.
Southern Maine hosts Western Connecticut State University on Monday (3:00 p.m.) in Little East Conference action. The game was rescheduled from Sunday, January 20. .