This article has been updated since its original publication.
The Kennesaw State men’s basketball team won their first conference game of the season 81-64 on Wednesday, Jan. 30, against North Florida before falling 92-75 at Stetson on Saturday.
Having lost eight consecutive games before beating the Ospreys, four players scored at least 15 points as the complete effort propelled the Owls to victory.
Redshirt junior Bryson Lockley recorded his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Junior transfer Bobby Parker also scored 17 points and helped the Owls find a way to win.
Even distribution of the ball was sustained throughout the game, as the Owls got out to an eight-point lead early on. The four top scorers all had similar points totals at the end of the first half.
Tyler Hooker helped with this distribution, providing a team-high seven assists along with 15 points. Freshman Danny Lewis put up 16 points to round out the quartet of efficient scorers but fell a point short of his career high.
The Owls expanded their lead in the second half, leading by 20 points late in the game. KSU consistently increased their lead by scoring and coming up with defensive turnovers and 15 steals.
“I thought we played really well on defense and we created a lot of opportunities by turning them over and that allowed us to get some transition baskets,” Head Coach Al Skinner said. “The key is that it cannot be for just one game, we have to establish a defensive identity.”
KSU traveled to Florida on Saturday, Feb. 2, to play Stetson, where the Owls were unable to replicate their success from days earlier.
Although the Owls were able to score as consistently, the defense could not stop the Hatters.
Hooker led KSU in the scoring category with 18 points and extended his double-digit scoring streak to 21 games. Lewis and Parker scored 16 and 15 points each while combining for seven three-point shots.
Lockley found success on the boards and finished with nine rebounds to help the Owls trail by just five points at halftime. Heading into the second half, KSU kept the score close before allowing Stetson to quickly move ahead.
Within a span of five minutes, the Owls went from trailing by one point to falling behind by 11. The lead was then reduced to just four points before the Hatters made a second run to defeat KSU.
The men’s team will stay in Florida to take on Jacksonville on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.