SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The fourth-seeded Endicott women's basketball team fell to top-seeded Keene St. College, 72-62, Saturday afternoon as the Gulls saw their season end in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Semifinals inside the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
In a game that was back-and-forth for a majority of the contest, Keene St. started the game on a 6-0 run through the first two and half minutes before Endicott used a 9-0 run to jumpstart its own offense.
The Owls held a 17-15 edge at the end of the first quarter and a clung to a narrow 38-32 advantage at halftime.
The Gulls out-scored the Owls, 18-14, in the third quarter, but nine of senior guard Kelsey Cognetta's (Stamford, Conn.) 13 points came as part of a dominant 20-point effort by the Owls to close out the game in the fourth quarter and earned the right to advance to Sunday's ECAC title game.
The biggest difference in this game was the battle off the glass, as Keene St. grabbed 44 rebounds compared to Endicott's 30, in which 18 of the Owls' board were offensive and turned into 19 second chance points.
Playing in the final game of their collegiate careers, senior guard Kelsey Cuddy (Madison, Conn.) scored 13 points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, and dished out a game-high five assists for the Gulls, while senior forward Caity Lowry (Quincy, Mass.) registered seven points and six rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The game saw nine ties and 18 lead changes, the most lead changes in a game for Endicott this season.
- The Gulls placed three student-athletes in double figures as junior forward Sarah Hood (Burlington, Conn.) led the way with 15 points, Cuddy added 13, and sophomore forward Hannah Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine) chipped in 12 points, respectively.
- Endicott's largest lead of the game was by three points with 4:57 left in the first quarter.
FOR THE FOES
- The Owls made their seventh ECAC postseason appearance tonight after falling to UMass Boston in the Little East Conference (LEC) Semifinals, 51-39, on Friday, Feb. 26. in Willimantic, Conn.
- Keene State is back in the ECAC championship game for the first time since 2012.
- 27-year head coach Keith Boucher has led the program to school record 23 wins in 2015-16 with today's victory. The Owls won 11 games straight to open the season.
- Junior forward Sarah Kober (Easthampton, Mass.) had a game-high 19 points (also a career-high) as part of her double-double effort on the afternoon with a game-high 13 rebounds, eight of which were offensive.
- Junior guard/forward Stephanie D'Annolfo (Tyngsborough, Mass. added 18 points and eight rebounds, while Cognetta chipped in 13 points.
- The Owls' largest lead of the game was 12 points with 1:12 remaining in the game.
- Endicott is 1-6 all-time against Keene St. dating back prior to the 2002 season.
- Endicott fell, 60-56, to Keene St. in the Gulls' home opener on 11/24/15 earlier this season.
- The Gulls, made their 11th overall appearance in the ECAC tournament in program history in 2016 and first since the team celebrated its first ECAC Championship in 2014 with a 79-76 win over Smith College on March 9, 2014, and defeated visiting Elms College, 92-56 on Wednesday, March 2 to advance to the ECAC Semifinals for the sixth time in program history.
No. 4 Endicott (17-12) sees its season end, while No. 1 Keene St. (23-5) will play No. 2 Western New England (19-10) for the 2016 ECAC Championship, in which the Owls won it all in 2010.
ECAC DIVISION III NEW ENGLAND BRACKET
First Round – Wednesday, March 5 at Endicott College
#4 Endicott 92 vs. #5 Elms 56
Semifinals – Saturday, March 5 at Western New England University
Semifinal #1: No. 1 Keene State 72, No. 4 Endicott 62
Semifinal #2: No. 2 Western New England 70, No. 3 Suffolk 60
Championship – Sunday, March 6 at Western New England