Release from Kennesaw State Athletics:
Sophomores Deandrea Sawyers and Aareon Smith led the Kennesaw State women’s basketball team, but it was not enough as the Owls dropped their first Atlantic Sun Conference contest of the season, 79-61, to Lipscomb on Saturday evening (Jan. 17) at Allen Arena.
“It was a bad loss because we did not put the effort forth,” said head coach Nitra Perry. “We talk a lot about maturity level of the team and going in a game at 2-0 and being on the road, a mature team, a team that is going towards a championship comes in and puts a team away. They just wanted it more than us. They looked like ‘we cannot lose this game tonight’ and we kind of felt like we had a 2-0 start, so we had kind of arrived. I think it is a really fine line between being confident and arrogant and I thought that tonight we did not respect the name on the jersey.”
Sawyers continued her dominance in conference play with a team-high 24 points and nine rebounds, while also draining five three-pointers in the process. It was her third-straight 20-point game and fourth of the season. Smith added 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while junior Jasmine McAllister chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.
After four quick points from the Bisons (6-11, 1-2) to start the contest, the Owls (13-5, 2-1) took its first lead of the game at 7-6 with a 5-0 mini run at the 16:36 mark of the first half. Both teams then traded the lead back-and-forth over the course of the next several minutes, before Lipscomb used an 11-0 run to take a 29-19 advantage with four minutes remaining in the half.
Redshirt-freshman Kelly Dulkoski broke the Bisons run with a three-pointer on the wing to bring the Owls within 29-22 with 2:52 left on the clock. Back-and-forth action closed the half with Smith draining back-to-back buckets to send KSU into the break trailing the Bisons, 35-26.
The Bisons pushed its lead to 39-26 out of intermission, but the Owls responded with six-straight points to close the gap to seven points with 16:22 left on the clock.
Lipscomb built its double-digit lead back up, before KSU brought it down to 49-42 with an 8-3 mini spurt with 10 minutes to go. The Bison answered with seven-straight points for a 56-42 lead.
With just under eight minutes to go, the Owls brought the score within 59-49, but Lipscomb took control of the game with an 18-7 run over the next seven minutes to seal the 79-61 win.
As a team, KSU shot 38.3 percent from the floor on 23-of-60 shooting, but struggled to stop the Bisons, who shot at a blistering 53.8 percent on 28-of-52 shooting, including a 60.9 percent clip (14-of-23) from the field in the first half and a 57.1 percentage (4-of-7) from beyond the arc in the second half.
The Owls totaled 15 assists on the night, with junior Karly Frye and senior Kristina Wells each handing out five helpers. KSU forced 13 Bisons turnovers for 17 points, but were hampered with 13 turnovers that Lipscomb turned into 16 points
KSU dropped the rebounding battle, 36-34, but grabbed 14 offensive boards in the setback.
The Bisons won the battle of the paint, posting 38 points to the Owls’ 24.
Ashley Southern led all scorers and registered a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Danay Fothergill poured in 18 points for the Bisons. Chandler Cooper added 16 points for the home team in the win.