Westfield State falls to Keene in women’s basketball season opener


WESTFIELD – Keene State ran out to a 25-12 lead in the first half, then held Westfield State at bay as KSU posted an 81-67 win over Westfield State on Tuesday evening in Keene, N.H.
Westfield was playing its 2021 season opener after 617 days away from intercollegiate competition due to the pandemic. The Owls last played a game on February 27, 2020.
KSU led 25-12 after a Rylee Burgess layup with 8:12 left in the second quarter, but the Owls quickly rallied with three of the next four buckets coming on three pointers by Alison Mendel, Olivia Hadla (Westfield) and Melissa Gray to trim the lead to 25-23.
That was as close as the Owls would get, however, as Keene gradually extended the lead out to as many as 16 midway through the third quarter at 52-36 on a layup from Samantha Lee. Keene continued to pull away, with the biggest lead at 23 points, at 72-49 with 7:13 left in the game.
Keene (2-0) used its size advantage and broke the Owls’ press to hold a 48-10 advantage in points in the paint, and a 58-29 edge in rebounds.
Hailey DeRosia led Keene with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Burgess added 16 points.
Paris Wilkey, a transfer from Division II Franklin Pierce led the Owls with 13 points and five rebounds. Mendel added 11, and Gray scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists. Hadla scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in her college basketball debut. Hadla played for the Owls NCAA Tournament women’s lacrosse team last spring, and filled in on the Owls’ women’s golf squad earlier this year.
Westfield (0-1) continues its tour of New Hampshire on Saturday with a game at Plymouth State. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports

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