KSU 75 Jacksonville 68 (Men)
KSU 57 Jacksonville 51 (Women)Follow @KSUOwlHowl
It was a great day for Kennesaw State! The women and men both were victorious, and this is the first time that they have done so on the same day since February 7th 2011 against Campbell University. This win also breaks a streak of 12 losses in a row against JU by the men’s teams.
It’s also the second conference win of the season for both squads. It gives the women a one game lead on Lipscomb while it allows the men to keep pace with LU for the final conference tourney spot.
The win gives the men’s team more confidence going into the final six games.
I personally think that this win means just as much as the Mercer game did for Coach Lewis Preston’s squad. The victory vs. the Bears a few weeks ago was great, as it removed the monkey off of the team’s back, and that was much needed. The difference between the two games to me is simple, and that is this felt like a hard-fought basketball game and the Mercer victory just felt like it was one of those nights where everything that could go right did go right. The Owls went to the line 55 times that night and Mercer never held a lead. This game was a total team effort, and every single player that played contributed something positive.
Tonight vs. the Dolphins, it was a back and forth contest. Jacksonville came out swinging in the first half and gained a 12 point lead with 3:29 to go in the half, but KSU was able to claw back and make it a manageable five point deficit by halftime.
The Owls flipped the switch and stormed back to tie the game quickly in the second half, led by Nigel Pruitt, who played only two minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Pruitt scored all ten of his points in the first ten minutes of the final frame to help KSU stay even before they gained a bit of separation with five minutes remaining in the game thanks to a series of scores by Markeith Cummings.
- The energy throughout the second half was just excellent. Coach Preston said in his press conference that he overhead Jacksonville freshman Kordario Fleming telling big man Glenn Powell that nobody could stop him, and they used that as motivation. Looks like Powell was stopped.
- Every single Owl who played contributed something positive tonight.
- Aaron Anderson had a double-double, ho-hum. He had 7 offensive rebounds and the rest of the team had 6. It seemed like he came out of nowhere to grab every rebound He also hit some clutch free throws.
- Shot a higher percentage than JU from the field (45.8 to 43.9)
- KSU shot 16-20 from the foul line while JU shot 9 of 16. How many points did KSU win by? I rest my case.
- 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 were the point totals of five different Owls. Great team effort.
- KSU had more points in the paint (36-31)
- Cummings helped put together the Owls run with about five minutes remaining. He also made a few nice defensive plays.
- The freshmen are starting to play better.
- Nigel Pruitt mentioned at the press conference that he now understands his role. He’s played within himself lately, but also aggressively when needed. He was in the right place at the right time on offense today. 10 points in 16 minutes is efficient.
- Myles Hamilton can get into the paint, but he has to finish at the rim a little better. Either way, the talent is apparent and he’s settling into his role. He had an impressive block or two and loves a challenge on defense.
- I can’t speak for anybody else, but Jordan Montgomery’s three point shot has been much better than I anticipated it would be when he arrived on campus.
- I thought Yonel Brown got a block on Russell Powell in the paint, but the official scorer didn’t agree. Maybe I was seeing things. Brown seemed extra aggressive on defense tonight.
- Osemhen was aggressive tonight. Coach Preston mentioned that he called him out yesterday at practice, and it worked. 8 points in 18 minutes for the big guy.
- Dawson didn’t play much because of foul trouble but he did create some offense while he was in the game.
- Kennesaw has now matched their win total from last season.
- Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore was doing some broadcasting work for Jacksonville.
- Jacksonville still had a few too many open looks, especially from long-range. On one play, Montgomery left his man to get a hand in on a driving player, and left freshman three point specialist Marcellous Bell wide open in the corner. Luckily, he missed.
- The energy to start the game wasn’t where it needed to be.
- Hamilton made a bad foul with under two seconds left in the first half when Jacksonville got a rebound all the way at their own basket. It cost the Owls one point.
- A few unforced errors on bad passes.
- Because of Kennesaw’s personnel not quite fitting correctly this year, Anderson helped get the ball across half-court and played on the wing to help get the team into the offense. While he did a good job of this, it’s not where you want him to be. This allowed Osemhen and Cummings to play near the basket.
- The officiating was pretty bad. They missed a call when Jacksonville had their foot on the line when inbounding after a made FG, and also stopped play for some reason while Kennesaw had a 5 on 4 break.
- I didn’t mention this, but on Thursday against UNF the officials gave Parker Smith one more free throw than he was entitled to. After Love committed a personal and had a technical called, Smith got sent to the line. He missed the first free throw which was the first half of the one and one from the personal foul. The referees gave him three additional free throws instead of just the two from the technical.
- Dylan Fritsch has turned out to be what I was hoping Cole Hobbs could be this year for the Owls…three point shooting with no defense.
- Jarvis Haywood’s hair is filling the void left by Spencer Dixon’s flat-top, but it’s not quite there yet. He’s only a freshman so I will give him some time.
- Kordario Fleming looks like somebody went back in time and shrunk Kurt Thomas while Javon Dawson looks like somebody enlarged Mike Bibby (height-wise!).