Sophomore Alexis Poole continued to perform at a high level as the women’s basketball team lost twice last week to Atlantic Sun Conference opponents Liberty and Florida Gulf Coast.
Poole came away with 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Kennesaw State women’s basketball team in a 67-61 home loss to Liberty on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
Coming into the game, the Owls had sealed a 75-55 victory over Jacksonville a week earlier, maintaining an undefeated record in the Convocation Center.
The career game for Poole came with many of the features she had been exhibiting all season, but everything seemed to work well against the Flames. Poole shot 11 of 16 from the field and helped the Owls keep the score close with her consistent rebounding. Both her points and rebounds combined were career highs.
The Owls led as late as the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter and tied the game with just over a minute left, but the Flames broke away late to secure the victory.
All four quarters of the game were close with the game tied 36-36 at halftime, but the Owls began to fall behind in the second half before coming back late.
The game intensified towards the end of the fourth quarter when the game was within a field goal. With less than two minutes left, the action went back and forth as a fade away from Street tied the score at 61 points each.
The last 10 seconds saw multiple turnovers from the Owls, but the comeback was out of reach as time expired.
“We’re a team that’s building and [still] learning how to win, ” head coach Agnus Berenato said. “Our main focus is to get over the hurdles and produce a win.”
The Owls have more conference games to look forward to coming off the close loss to Liberty, and Poole will be particularly ready.
“This game gave me the chance to really step out and show my potential in conference play,” Poole said. “Looking ahead to Florida Gulf Coast, we’ll be ready to prove ourselves in this conference.”
KSU continued their homestand against FGCU on Saturday, Jan. 19, falling 69-46 to the Eagles.
A difficult stretch for the Owls in the third quarter held them back, but the team showed positive signs against the Eagles who have won five of the last seven conference championships.
Poole continued to play well with 16 points and had four rebounds in the first quarter alone. Street contributed to the game with 12 points and helped spark a late surge by the Owls in the fourth quarter when they scored 19 points.
Throughout the game, KSU was lacking on shot percentage and rebounding. The Owls made less than 30 percent of their shots and were at a height disadvantage, resulting in being out-rebounded 43-28.
KSU came as close as six points behind the Eagles, whose slimmest lead was 28-22 late in the second quarter. Just before halftime, FGCU scored eight quick points to widen a lead that would last.
The third quarter proved to be decisive, as the Owls were held to just five points and could not overcome the pressure of the Eagles’ offense.
Trailing by as many as 33 points, KSU managed to show improvements in the fourth quarter as multiple players helped put together a 13-0 run to build confidence heading into the next game.
Despite the offensive struggles, the Owls defense held its own in the second half against a team that had previously come off of a 105-point performance against North Florida.
“The number on threat [FGCU] has is their three-point shooting,” Berenato said. “They average 12 three-point shots, and they only made seven today. What we wanted to do is take away their three and force them to floor the ball.”
Up next, the women’s basketball team is set to play at North Alabama on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m.