Freshman guard Chelsea Mason had a coming out party off the bench for KSU, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Owls as an eager Georgia Tech squad dominated from start to finish in an 80-51 victory at the newly renovated McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Tuesday.
With the loss, the Owls (0-2) have suffered defeats of 42 and 29 points to begin the year, with their first loss coming 87-45 at Middle Tennssee State last Friday.
KSU made a game of it against the Yellow Jackets in the second half, as it was only outscored 36-33 in the second period.
“The second half we came out and played great defense,” KSU head coach Nitra Perrry said. “It definitely instilled some confidence in us and it’s going to help our momentum going into Morehead State. We set some internal goals for the second half that we met and I’m proud of how we played.”
Georgia Tech (1-1) was looking for a bounce back after falling to Tennessee in its season opener. The Yellow Jackets proved they were eager, as the 20th ranked squad in the country held the Owls without a field goal until the 12:50 mark of the first half.
Georgia Tech built on a strong defensive performance by shooting 48 percent, as opposed to KSU’s 22 percent, en route to a 44-18 halftime lead.
The highlight of the game for KSU was the emergence of freshman Chelsea Mason. The 5’7” guard from Bellevue, Neb., scored 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting, registered five rebounds and added an assist in just 19 minutes of play.
Mason could become more of a factor as KSU looks for a guard to help replace the scoring left by former Owl Taylor Mills, who, after having an all-conference year last season, decided to transfer to rival Belmont in Nashville.
“Mason is a very aggressive and confident kid,” Perry said. “She’s the quietest kid out there but I never have to tell her to shoot the ball and I appreaciate that about her. We need players out there who will work hard like Mason and shoot the ball.”
Outside of Mason, Georgia Tech’s defense was smothering, as starters Sametrio Gideon, Kristina Wells and Bria Young combined to go 9-of-35 from the floor. Wells did finish with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists from the guard position.
Georgia Tech was lead by Tyaunna Marshall, who scored her 1,000th point in the game. Marshall finished 6-of-8 shooting for 14 total points, four assists, and nine rebounds.
KSU was outrebounded 63-39 in the game.
With the loss, the Owls will try to carry the momentum of a strong second half to Morehead State in Morehead, Ky., to continue the Women’s Preseason National Invitational Tournament.
KSU will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 21, to host Troy.