KEENE, N.H. -- In a re-match of last year's Little East Conference tournament championship game won by Keene State, Eastern Connecticut State University senior guard Kelly Reardon (Holyoke, MA) had career highs of 15 points and ten rebounds and a season high of eight assists as the Warriors handed Keene State College its eighth straight, 59-45.
Eastern (5-10, 3-3 LEC) led by 13 after three quarters and scored the first nine points of the fourth to move out to its largest lead, 51-29, with 7:40 left. Keene (2-14, 0-6 LEC) scored 11 of its 16 fourth-quarter points in the final four minutes.
All of Eastern's points came from its starters, with four finishing in double figures and the fifth totaling nine points. Behind Reardon, sophomore guard Sabrina LeMere (North Branford) had 13 points, sophomore forward Mya Villard (Cromwell) 12 points and ten rebounds and junior forward Kelsey Santagata (Stamford) – a second-year transfer from Keene – ten points, seven rebounds and four assists.
While the Warriors burst quickly to put the game in the fourth quarter, they also broke fast to start the second half, using a 13-3 run to turn a three-point halftime lead to 13, 38-25 late in the third quarter and grab the momentum for good. LeMere's three-point opened the second half and Santagata followed with a jumper to push the lead to 30-23, and four different Eastern players followed with buckets to make it 38-25.
Keene, which shot just 26.2 percent from the floor, got ten points from freshman Lilly Shlimon.
Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Saturday at 1 p.m. in a conference game.