SALEM, Mass. - The Keene State College men's basketball team used James Anozie's career-high 30 points, eight rebounds and two assists to power their way through Salem State University 99-91 in non-conference action Saturday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium.
- Keene State: 1-1
- Salem State: 1-3
How It Happened
Anozie's standout performance saw him dominate in the paint, shooting 14-of-18 from the field while adding a 2-for-3 showing from the line en route to being the career-high point total. The high-scoring Owls, who shot better than 55% for the second straight game to open the season, also got four other double-digit point performances, including from Nick Redden, who scored 12 while making 3-of-7 from deep to go along with five rebounds and an assist. KSC racked up 24 assists on the afternoon. Marcus McCarthy added 11 points, three rebounds, three steals and two asssits, while DeVon Beasley made three of four shots and both threes to also score 11. Edwin Ezedonmwen also finished with the same point total, making 4-of-5 shots. Salem State got a combined 60 points from Sean Bryan (33 on 11-of-17 shooting) and Hakeem Animashaun (27 points and 10 rebounds while making 17-of-22 from the free throw line), but led for just 1:05 in the entire game.
Keene State got off to a quick early start, with McCarthy making a three and Anozie scoring inside within the first minute for a 5-0 edge. The Owls would never trail in the opening 20 minutes, but also could not gain much distance either, with Salem State responding twice to tie the game, including at 19 after two free throws from Alex De La Rosa. The Owls always had an answer offensively, though, as a mini 4-0 run on buckets from Redden and Ben Olson made it 23-19 with 7:50 to go in the first half. Redden canned a three for a six-point edge not even a minute later, and connected again from long range at the 5:24 mark for a 33-26 lead. Keene State led 38-31 with just under four minutes until halftime, but then watched Salem State close on an 8-3 run to get within two (41-39) at the break. Jeff Hunter's layup with 1:02 left put KSC ahead after SSU had tied it.
KSC opened the second half the same way they opened the first half, by knocking down a three-point basket, but the home team continued to stay right there, with Animashaun converting inside to bring his team within 46-45. Beasley put the Owls back up four (53-49) a few minutes later, only to see the Vikings rattle off seven consecutive points finishing with Jaden Castillo's three-point play for their first lead all afternoon. As mentioned, that lead did not last long. Redden's triple with 11:36 to go put Keene State up 60-58 and sparked a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to eight (66-58) with ten minutes to play. KSC was in control for most of the rest of the contest, as two freebies from Anozie made it 70-60 with 8:51 left, and a three from Ezedonmwen had the Owls up 79-69 just over two minutes later. A Hunter layup and Ezedonmwen deep shot helped give Keene State their largest lead of the game (86-74) with 4:38 remaining. Salem State never got closer than six after that and, when they did, KSC made 7-of-10 from the line in the final minute to keep them at bay.
Inside the Paint
- Three Owls made multiple threes off the bench (Redden, Beasley, Ezedonmwen), as KSC made 9-of-19 from long range (Salem State just 3-of-20) and outscored the Viking reserves 40-23.
- Both teams torched the nets in the second half, with KSC making 22-of-35 (63%) shots and Salem State 16-of-27 (59%).
- Keene State has won four of five all-time meetings between the two teams.
- Keene State will welcome preseason-No. 13 Middlebury College to Spaulding Gymnasium for their home opener on Tuesday November 19. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm.
- The Vikings continue their non-conference schedule with a road matchup at WPI on Tuesday, November 19 at 7:30 pm.