Keene, NH - The Framingham State women's basketball team defeated host Keene State by a score of 80-64 in the opening round of 2017 Zero Gravity Keene State College Tip-Off Tournament on Friday evening at Spaulding Gymnasium. With the win, the Rams even up at 1-1 on the year. The Owls fall to 0-2 on the young season.
Framingham State senior guard Raegan Mulherin (Baldwinville, Mass.) led all players with 21 points, as sophomore guard Mary Kate O'Day (Berlin, Mass.) added 19 points and junior forward Tiphani Harris (Revere, Mass.) pulled down 11 rebounds with 10 points for her second straight double-double.
Owls sophomore forward Kenzie Bennett produced a team-high and career-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, followed by freshman guard Lilly Shlimon with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Senior guard Sandi Purcell rounded out the double-digits for the Owls with 12 points, three steals, three rebounds and three assists.
Framingham State got off to a hot start with 10 unanswered points, capped off by a layup by Mulherin with 6:47 to go in the first stanza, as Kenzie Bennett made a layup to halt the Rams. Framingham State grabbed a 15-6 lead after two converted free throws from Harris, as the Rams closed out the first quarter holding a 20-10 advantage.
Sophomore Mallory Defeo (Arlington, Mass.) extended the Rams' lead to 12 to open up the second quarter, before Purcell drained a three to cut the Owls' deficit to nine. From there, Framingham State went on an 8-0 run to push the score to 30-13, but a three-pointer by Bennett ended Keene State's scoreless drought. The Rams continued to extend their lead in the final minutes of the second quarter, as the Owls found themselves trailing 41-23 at the break, despite a last minute basket from Shlimon.
Keene State started off the third quarter on an 8-2 run to come within 11 of Framingham State, as a layup by Shlimon at the 6:43 mark made the score 43-31, Framingham State. A layup by Mitchell and a basket trey from Shlimon brought the Owls within nine, the Rams were able to regain their double digit lead with 1:03 remaining in the third stanza. Mulherin grabbed a defensive rebound and raced down the court for the open layup and a score of 55-40. Keene State answered back in the final minute of play, as freshman forward Abby Thut drained a three-pointer, before finishing off two free throws to make it 55-45.
Keene State was able to get as close as six in the final quarter with 6:16 remaining, as a three-pointer by Bennett and a layup by Purcell gave the Owls five-straight points, but the Rams responded with seven straight points to extend their lead back to double-digits.
Framingham State held a slight edge in rebounds over Keene State, 47-44.
The Owls shot 33.8 percent from the field, while the Rams shot 40.0 percent from the field.
With the win, Framingham State will advance to the title game tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. against Babson. Keene State will play in the consolation game earlier in the afternoon, with tip-off at 1:00 p.m., and will take on St. Joseph's.