Women’s Basketball team momentum carries them second round of the ASUN tournament
By: Sam McSweeney
The Kennesaw State University Women’s Basketball team wins first home conference tournament game advancing them to the Semifinals!
These lady Owls made history becoming the second team in program history to make it to Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Semifinals, after defeating New Jersey Institute of Technology(NJIT) Highlanders 62-60. It was a hard-fought win for the Owls, but these are the kind of games this team has become accustomed to over the course of the season.
Through the first half of the season, the Owls found themselves in many closely contested games, but they were only able to gather a (2-16) record. The determination and grit began to show as the Owls progressed through the final run of their schedule. Once conference play began for the team, they were able to gain momentum and finish their final 11 games with a record of (8-3). This final stretch of games was enough to earn the women’s basketball team the fourth seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference going (10-19) and the Programs first conference tournament home game against the NJIT!
When it came time for the two teams to square off, the Owls hunkered down, took the lead, and didn’t once surrender it too the Highlanders. The first half of the game stayed close, but the lady Owls held a 36-27 lead to end the second quarter. NJIT slowly clawed their way back into this game, going blow for blow, and closing the gap on the Owls lead late in the fourth quarter. As time was about to expire at the end of the game, NJIT had the opportunity to take the lead on a buzzer-beater, but their attempt rattled in and out of the basket. That missed shot attempt gave the Owls the ball back and they ran out the remaining 3.7 seconds on the clock to secure the victory.
The Owl’s Kelly Dulkoski and Carlotta Gianolla’s tied for a team high 12 points. Clara Young also set a career high in assists with ten, surpassing her previous record of nine. Young is also on the cusp of history, needing only 15 more points to break the school’s all-time scoring record of 1,374, currently held by Kristina Wells. Kennesaw finished the night with four players total in double figures.
Kennesaw State is now scheduled to play Stetson University in the semifinal round of the Atlantic Sun tournament. The Owls have played the Hatters from Stetson two times previously this season, losing to them by nine at home and then by 17 on the road. Both teams have changed a lot since their first meeting, but only time will tell if the momentum the Owls have will be enough to carry them to their first ever Atlantic Sun Conference Final appearance. The Semifinal game will be played Wednesday March 8th, with the first tip at 7:00 pm and a live broadcast of the game will be on ESPN3!