A poor offensive performance doomed the Kennesaw State women’s basketball team last week, as it fell 57-33 to North Florida on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Just days after enjoying a dramatic late victory at home, the Owls could not continue the momentum on the road against the Ospreys. Junior Alexis Poole led the way with 13 points and sophomore Amani Johnson contributed with 10 points. The two combined for nearly 70 percent of the team’s scoring total.
The Owls’ offense struggled mightily to begin the contest, scoring just two points in the first quarter. After senior Carlotta Gianolla made the first shot of the game, KSU was held scoreless for the remainder of the quarter.
KSU was forced to adjust its game plan when Poole and Gianolla each picked up two early fouls and were benched nearly until halftime. In order to neutralize Poole and put her in foul trouble, the UNF employed a strategy of double and triple-teaming the forward throughout the game. Poole currently leads the Owls with 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Johnson provided a spark for KSU in the second quarter by ending the Ospreys’ scoring streak, converting a three-point shot
Although the Owls found some offensive momentum in the second quarter, UNF protected its lead. The Ospreys tallied 16 points in the quarter, including five from the free-throw line. KSU committed 10 turnovers in the first two quarters and trailed by a score of 28-15 at halftime.
As the second half began, Poole made an effort to shrink the Ospreys’ lead by netting seven points in the third quarter. The rest of the team combined for just one basket in the quarter, and KSU managed just nine points. UNF responded with 15 points, which increased its lead to 43-24 ahead of the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started slowly as both teams produced multiple missed shots and turnovers. The Owls attempted to make a run in the fourth quarter but continually failed to make a defensive stand. Only two players scored for KSU in the final period, as Poole and sophomore guard Peyton Lewis combined for nine points.
The Owls’ 33 points marked a season-low total, as KSU shot 28 percent from the field while the Ospreys converted 43 percent of its field goal attempts. In total, the Owls totaled 21 turnovers in the loss.
Due to foul trouble, Gianolla played just 14 minutes against UNF despite averaging over 30 per game this season. Poole played 30 minutes in the game and came close to a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Coming off the bench, Lewis finished with six points and two rebounds.
With the loss, KSU moved to an overall record of 9-10. With nine games remaining on the schedule, the team will look to make a late-season push ahead of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.
Up next, the Owls will travel to face Liberty University Monday, Feb. 3.