Nov. 8—Kennesaw State went on a 20-2 run to open the second half, and outscored LaGrange 57-19 over the final 20 minutes, to post a 99-56 victory in the season opener at the KSU Convocation Center on Monday.
LaGrange took advantage of the Owl's shooting struggles in the first half to get a 22-15 lead midway in the first half, but KSU would go on a 12-3 run to tie the game at 27. It took the lead for good on a Terrell Burden jumper with 5 minutes left before halftime.
"Not the first half, though some of it was expected, the first time we've played in front of a crowd this season, we had a little nervousness and overthinking," coach Amir Abdur-Rahim said in a press release. "Really proud of how we responded though and felt we got back to our brand of basketball. I thought our ball energy was really good tonight, we shared the ball well, defensively our ball pressure was on, to the point where we were doing what we had practiced, and our bench energy was really good in the second half as well".
The Owls shot 63.3% in the second half, as wel as shooting 46.7% from 3-point range.
Chris Youngblood led the scoring for the Owls with 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting and had eight rebounds and three steals. Youngblood also shot 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Burden had 19 points with seven assists and seven rebounds.
Freshman Simeon Cottle scored 11 points and pulled down four rebounds in his collegiate debut, and Temple transfer Quincy Ademokoya added eight points in his Owls' debut.
KSU (1-0) travels to take on Florida on Friday night.
Mississippi 72, Kennesaw State 60: The Owls played well but came up short in Oxford, as they fell to their SEC opponent in the season opener.
The Rebels went on a 18-2 run over the final two mintues of the third quarter and the first four mintues of the fourth to go up 65-46 and pull away for the victory.
"That's what I asked of my team," coach Octavia Blue said in a release. "We knew it was going to be a tough feat to go to Ole Miss and win against an SEC opponent, however, my kids battled until the end, and we played hard until the clock hit zero, and that's really what I wanted to see out of my players."
The Owls jumped out to an early 13-0 lead behind seven points from Jah'Che Whitfield, as well as holding the Rebels to just 2 of 9 shooting over the first 8 minutes of the first quarter.
Mississippi would cut the deficit to four, but Bre'Lyn Snipes would convert a three-point play to increase the lead to 25-18 with 7:16 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Rebels' defense would hold the Owls to just six points in the last seven mintues of the half to take a 34-31 lead into the break.
Mississippi would start the second half going on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to 10, but Amani Johnson would hit three straight shots to make it 43-38, with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
Whitfield and Johnson led the way scoring for the Owls as Whitfield had 18 points and Johnson had 15. Snipes and Stacie Jones both had eight points on the night.
KSU (0-1) is home Thursday to host Middle Georgia State.