Hill paced Falcons with 15 points in non-conference setback
KEENE, N.H. – The Fitchburg State men's basketball team was in action this evening, dropping a 91-77 decision to the Owls of Keene State College in non-conference action at the Spaulding Gymnasium.
Following a layup by senior Lance Hill, Keene State went on an 8-0 run on a jumper from senior Jaquel Edwards and three-pointers by senior Matt Ozzella and sophomore Ty Nichols to take a 17-6 advantage early in the first half.
Fitchburg State responded with a layup by senior Jalen Williams and a four-point play from classmate Leonny Burgos to make the score 17-12 before freshman Jake Collagan connected on the next five points for the Owls (22-12).
Keene State proceeded to go another 8-0 run on a pair of buckets from Nichols and jumpers by Edwards and junior Dizel Wright for the 30-15 margin. The Falcons cut into the deficit as senior Jaleel Bell, Burgos and junior Mustapha Koroma registered two points each (30-21).
Both teams traded baskets to close out the half with Nichols connecting a pair of buckets for the Owls, while Williams netted all four points for the Green and Gold as Keene State took a 50-33 lead into the locker room.
Following the intermission, Fitchburg State continued to chip away at the deficit, going on a 7-2 stretch on a three ball by Hill and a pair of baskets from junior Chima Ebele (54-40). With the score 65-46, the Falcons cut the lead to 13 (67-54) with sophomore Nicholas Tracy knocking down a pair of jumpers, while Williams added a layup.
Keene State answered back with an 8-2 run on jumpers by Nichols, Collagan, and Edwards, while Edward and newcomer Damonte Edwards added one free-throw each to extend the Owls margin to 75-56, en-route to the 91-77 final.
Fitchburg State was paced by Hill with a team-leading 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and one block, while Williams added 13 points and two caroms. Ebele and Burgos were also solid for the Falcons netting 12 points each.
For Keene State, Nichols led all scorers with 24 points, seven boards, five assists and two steals, while the duo of Ozzella and Edwards combined for 34 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal.
Throughout the contest, Fitchburg State shot 42.6% (26-of-61) as well as a stellar 23-for-24 (95.8%) from the charity stripe. Keene State finished 36-for-73 (49.3%) overall and 50.0% (6-of-12) from the free-throw line.
Fitchburg State (4-5, 0-0 MASCAC) returns to action on Wednesday as it travels to Westfield State University for a contest starting at 5:30 p.m. Keene State (7-4, 1-1 LEC) will host the Hawks of Becker College on Thursday at 6 p.m.