ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Kennesaw State women's basketball found itself back in the win column after a decisive 59-44 win over UMBC.
"I am very proud and happy with this win. We struggled early, but we rebounded with a run in the second quarter. I think we played a great second half of basketball," said head coach Agnus Berenato. " Amani Johnson, our All-Navy Classic recipient was again the engine that pulled our train. Her stats really inspired our team."
The Owls exploded in the second half for 40 points while holding UMBC to just 20. Alexis Poole turned in her third 20-plus point contest and fourth double-double of the season. Amani Johnson netted 15 points, while Peyton Lewis scored seven.
"Another double-double by Alexis Poole and Lexi Mann chipping in 11 points provided us strength in the paint. This was a hard week and we are happy to get a split on the road. Our team showed great resiliency in securing the win," said Berenato.
Poole began the contest against UMBC on fire, as she netted the Owls first six points in the Owls' second game of the Navy Classic. Kennesaw State took a 6-5 lead, but a 10-0 run to end the quarter put the Retrievers on top 15-6 at the end of the first quarter.
After falling behind by 11 with under nine minutes in the second quarter, KSU rattled off back-to-back buckets from Johnson that cut the lead to seven. After a free-throw make by UMBC, a Lexi Mann jumper slashed the lead down to six. Poole led the Owls with eight points and eight rebounds at the half, as the Owls trailed 25-19.
The Owls' halftime adjustments were effective coming out of the gate in the second half. Kennesaw State began the quarter on an 11-3 run and took a 30-26 lead midway through the third period. The KSU offense started clicking and scored 26 points in the third frame, more than the first two quarters combined. The defense was impressive as well, holding UMBC to just nine.
Both teams went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter, but the Owls pushed their lead to 59-42 late in the fourth quarter. Baskets from Mann and Poole extended the Kennesaw State lead.
The Owls return to action next Sunday (Dec. 8) when KSU plays host to Georgia Tech. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.