Sophomore Kamiyah Street set a program record with her 41-point performance as the Kennesaw State women’s and men’s basketball teams opened their seasons last week, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Both teams played at home on Wednesday, as the women played first against Middle Georgia State and won 80-70. Several players played important roles in the victory over the Knights, as junior Carlotta Gianolla led the way with 24 points.
In their first season-opening victory in four years, the team was also helped by two of last season’s stars. Sophomore Alexis Poole recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Street contributed with 15 points.
The men’s team started the season off on the right foot after a second-half surge helped defeat Oglethorpe 68-57. Much like the women’s team, they ended a drought by winning their first season opener in eight years.
KSU only held a one-point lead to end the first half, but found their groove in the second half, not losing their lead afterward. Three Owls finished the game in double-figures, led yet again by redshirt junior Tyler Hooker who recorded a career-high 25 points and five assists.
Bryson Lockley played productively during the game, posting a stat line of nine rebounds, a team-high five assists, eight points and one block.
After the Owls built an early 10-6 lead, the Stormy Petrels responded, pushing their lead to as high as 13 points with a little over eight minutes left in the first half.
Hooker finally broke the run with two free throws and a three-pointer to spark a 19-0 run for the Owls. Hooker drew pressure toward him and frequently got to the free throw line to put points on the boards.
The Owls saw a positive performance from freshman Ugo Obineke, who scored nine of his 17 points during KSU’s run. Obineke had the highlight of the half when he made a dunk that got the crowd of over 900 fans on their feet.
After the Stormy Petrels tied the game to open the second half, KSU opened up a 14-point lead, once again sparked by Hooker. This kept the Stormy Petrels at bay for the remainder of the game.
The men’s team traveled to play the No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats on Friday, falling 56-41 after trailing by just four points at halftime.
The defense held the Wildcats close until around eight minutes remained when they went on a 15-2 run to close out the game.
The women’s team traveled to New Jersey to play two games over the weekend, beginning with a competitive 102-80 loss to Seton Hall. Street set the single-game scoring record for the Owls, scoring 41 points on just 14 shots.
Street continues to be an anchor for the team after leading the team and the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring last season.
The final game was against the University of Maryland-Baltimore, as the Owls lost 57-53. Poole and Street led the way again, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively. The Owls led by six points with two minutes remaining but allowed the Retrievers to come back to win.
The women’s team comes home to play Furman on Wednesday, Nov. 14, while the men travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands and open against Missouri on Friday, Nov. 16.