Early Mistakes Haunt Owls in Loss to Stetson

Early Mistakes Haunt Owls in Loss to Stetson

The Kennesaw State women’s basketball team’s season came to an end at the Edmunds Center on Friday night, as they fell 74-56 to Stetson.

It was the Owls third loss of the season to the Hatters and one that they will hope to forget.

“Overall, it was a growing season,” KSU head coach Nitra Perry told KSUOwls.com. “We had some bright spots throughout the season and we were close in a lot games. We got to grow from this and it’s a maturity thing.”

The game got off to to fantastic start for KSU, as they took a 9-0 lead and held SU without a single point for the first six minutes of the game. The Owls played stifling and physical defense, holding the Hatters to nothing but turnovers and low percentage shots early on.

The lead wouldn’t last long for KSU, as SU began to feed the post on every possession using its’ great size to its’ advantage. The Hatters went on a 16-2 run in four minutes to take the lead 16-11 with 6:18 left in the first half.

The Owls began to chip away after switching to a zone and forced three consecutive turnovers. KSU regained the lead 19-18 after a Deandrea Sawyers three-pointer and kept the lead up into the final seconds of the half. Sawyers finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

A momentum-swinging three-point buzzer beater was then made by Hatters’ forward Breana Bey, giving SU a 27-25 halftime lead and every ounce of momentum.

The third quarter began like the second quarter ended, with KSU struggling mightily to score and SU getting hot from deep. The Hatters opened the second half with a Brianti Saunders three and never looked back. Saunders finished the game with 25 points on 9-17 shooting.

The Owls were outscored 28-5 in route to their worst single quarter of the season. Nothing was going right for KSU, as they fell victim to nine turnovers — four traveling violations — and shot 1-15 in the third quarter. SU went on a run of 38-7 in 12 minutes of play.

“We won the first and fourth quarter, but the third quarter was lost,” Perry told KSUOwls.com. “Anytime you give up 28 points in a quarter is something you don’t want to do.”

Junior guard Aareon Smith and the Owls didn’t give up, as they fought to the final seconds. Smith put on a show, scoring 12 points in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the third quarter blunder.

“We did a great job in the fourth,” Perry told KSUOwls.com. “Aareon Smith came on late for us tonight and she played some key minutes and I was proud of her.”

KSU ended the game on a 18-8 run, but fell 74-56 in one of the worst shooting performances of the season. They finished the season 11-19 overall and did not defeat a single team in the top four of the A-Sun standings. They were 0-9 and lost by an average score of 69-52 versus the conference’s top teams.

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