KSU’s rivalry weekend began with a lot of excitement, but ended ugly for women’s basketball. The lady Owls fell short to Atlantic-Sun rival Mercer 71-46 in the Convocation Center Jan. 6.
KSU senior forward, Semetria Gideon, put forth another solid performance as she produced her second consecutive double- double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. However, it was a long night for the Lady Owls.
The Owls struggled throughout the course of the night and could not find the basket, with a field goal percentage of 25% for the game and only sank two of their 15 shots from behind the arc.
To Kennesaw State head coach Nitra Perry, the heart was non-existent.
“I am embarrassed and disgusted by our effort,” Perry said.
“Every shot is not going to fall every night, but the heart of the game was lost today.”
Mercer entered the Convocation Center with the energy of any rival school and set the tempo that proved very difficult for KSU to beat. The Bears shot 44 percent for the game and outscored the Owls 21-3 from the bench. Guards Precious Bridges and Kendra Grant led mercer’s offensive attack with 16 points.
“I think they treated it like a rival game,” Perry said. “When you let someone come in your house and bring that energy, like we talked about before the game, just that spirit of the team and the spirit of winning, creating the climate and that atmosphere. They did that and we didn’t.”
The Owls did manage to create a bit of a spark before halftime, cutting the lead to five with a score of 24-29. However, Mercer answered back shortly with two straight lay-ups. Freshman guard, Chelsea Mason, led the offensive attack for the Owls with 14 points, but her effort was overshadowed by their inconsistency.
“I want to be there for my team, but sometimes I feel like they are not there with me sometimes,” Mason said. “It was a really bad loss.”
“I think again it goes to the maturity of the team and not knowing who’s going to show up, and right now, we have counted on Semetria and Ashley to bring leadership, not necessarily points,” Perry said. “But when they are absent, then the team isn’t there.”
KSU now has an overall record of 4-11 and is 0-3 in the Atlantic-Sun Conference. The Owls will go on the road once again to Jacksonville, Fla. to play the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University Jan. 12-14. As for the preparation, Coach Perry believes it will be more mental than physical.
“I don’t think it was necessarily about the conditioning, I think we are in great shape,” Perry said. “But when you talk about the mental conditioning, it isn’t there.”