Keene State men, RIC women ousted from NCAA tourney

By Mike Whaley

It was Black Friday for the Keene State College men and the Rhode Island College women in their respective Sweet 16 rounds of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament.

No. 5 KSC fell apart in the second half to lose at No. 7 Guilford, 84-60, while the No. 3 RIC saw its undefeated season come to an end with an unusually bad shooting night to Washington & Lee, 61-55.

Keene led 29-24 in the first half, but an uncharacteristic season-high 21 turnovers led to a six-point halftime deficit (40-34). The Owls were outscored in the second half, 42-26. They end their season with a 26-3 record.

Octavio Brito and Jeff Hunter led KSC with 12 points apiece, Mason Jean Baptiste added 11 points.

The RIC women (29-1) played from behind most of the night against Washington & Lee, making just 28 percent of their shots, which included 3 of 23 from 3-point land. The Anchorwomen made only 4 of their 16 foul shots.

RIC trailed 45-33 after three quarters and was down 56-48 with 53 seconds to play, but was able to cut the lead to three (58-55) and had a chance to tie it in the waning seconds, but a 3-pointer was off the mark. Hinsdale junior Angelina Nardolillo was one of the few bright spots for the Anchorwomen. She led the team in scoring with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

Washington & Lee (29-2) was led by sophomore forward Mary Schleusner, who scored a game-high 34 points and pulled down a tournament record 33 rebounds, breaking her own record of 29 set earlier in the tournament.