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Women's Hoops Holds Off Keene State, 74-69

Taina Slaughter scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Owls' win over Keene.
Taina Slaughter scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Owls' win over Keene.

WESTFIELD, Mass. –  Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Taina Slaughter (Springfield , Mass./Chicopee HS) added 13 points and seven boards as Westfield State held off Keene State, 74-69 in a non-conference women's basketball game at the Woodward Center on Tuesday evening.

Westfield improves to 2-0 on the season while Keene State slips to 0-2.

The two teams dueled through a high-tempo first half, with Keene holding a 43-41 lead at the break behind 14 points from center Jordyn Burke (Bennington, Vt./Mount Anthony).

The scoring pace slowed in the second half, but Westfield grabbed a 56-55 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Westfield grabbed the lead for good at 65-64 after a Slaughter drive with 4:23 left in the game, then the Owls' Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire Reg.) extended the lead to four at 68-64 with less than three minutes to play.

Slaughter's layup with 45 seconds left gave Westfield a 74-66 lead.

Slaughter finished 5-10 from the floor, 1-3 from three-point range, and 2-2 at the line in an efficient outing.  Isabella Aitken (Pittsfield, Mass.) added 12 points for the Owls, 10 of which came in the opening half.

Keene was led by 24 points and 13 rebounds from Burke.  Lilly Shlimon (Pelham, N.H.) added 13 points and nine rebounds and Kenzie Bennett (Lake George, N.Y.) finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Westfield pressured Keene into 39 turnovers, but the Owls committed 31 of their own.  Keene outrebounded Westfield 56-46.

Westfield will be back in action with another home game on Saturday, hosting Plymouth State in a noon tip at the Woodward Center.

Keene State will next host Middlebury on Saturday at noon.