KSU wins overtime thriller against USC Upstate

KSU wins overtime thriller against USC Upstate

In a thrilling overtime victory, the Kennesaw State women’s basketball team won 79-71 over University of South Carolina Upstate in an ASUN Conference game Saturday at the G.B. Hodge Center in Spartanburg.

The Owls (4-16, 3-3) were led by senior guard Deandrea Sawyers as she scored 15 of her career-high 29 points in overtime, while also grabbing 12 rebounds.

Redshirt junior guard Chloe Branch scored a career-high 14 points, and freshman forward Carlotta Gianolla contributed 10 points and eight rebounds in support of Sawyers to lift the Owls to back-to-back road wins for the first time this season.

“It was a tremendous team win for us,” said head coach Agnus Berenato. “Tonight was a breakthrough for us.”

“We knew it was going to be a game of runs, and we had to weather the storm. I never lost faith and I knew if it got to overtime we were going to win,” Berenato said.

USC Upstate (8-13, 1-5 ASUN) had an opportunity to clinch the victory in regulation when Brittney Delva was fouled with 1.7 seconds remaining. She missed both free throw attempts, however, sending the game into overtime.

At the start of overtime, Sawyers took over the game by scoring the first four points, giving the Owls a 64-60 lead.

The Owls’ cause was aided by a great night on the boards as Kennesaw State outrebounded USC Upstate, 47-29, and had 16 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points.

The team produced its second-best shooting game of the season, connecting on 43.9 percent of its field goal attempts and shooting a season-best 86.4 percent (19-for-22) from the foul line. Kennesaw State also equaled a season-high with 47 rebounds.

“We really wanted to be 3-3 (in ASUN play) after today, and the team really responded,” Berenato said. “The team is starting to understand our philosophy and the project.”

After finishing 2-1 over three straight road games, the Owls will return home for an ASUN Conference matchup with the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

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