KSU women down Jacksonville State

Jan. 20—Jah'Che Whitfield scored 21 points and the Kennesaw State women continued their recent good play as they defeated Jacksonville State 71-61 on Thursday at the KSU Convocation Center.

The win was the Owls' fourth in the last five games and improved their record to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in ASUN Conference play. The win also kept them in a tie for fourth place with Liberty in the conference standings and matched their best start in league play since the 2007-08 season.

Kennesaw State opened the game with a 13-5 run as Whitfield scored six of her 16 first-half points. Lyndsey Whilby made a 3 as the Owls went 5-for-6 from the field in the opening minutes and built a 24-13 lead heading to the second quarter.

Kennesaw State opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run to push the lead to 34-13. Whilby, who finished with 10 points, made her second 3 of the night in the final seconds to give the Owls a 44-24 lead at the half.

"We wanted to come out and make a statement," Kennesaw State coach Octavia Blue said in a release. "We talk about how we come out and start games and got off to a good start. Speaking of the fourth quarter, Jacksonville State is a good team. They were the runner-up in the ASUN Conference. We knew that they were not going to lie down and allow us to keep pounding. We weathered the storm in the fourth quarter."

Kennesaw State still led by 20 heading to the final quarter when Jacksonville State (9-8, 2-4) opened with a 6-0 run in first 66 seconds. The Gamecocks were able to cut the deficit to seven with 1:39 remaining, but baskets by Whitfield and Stacie Jones, who had 12 points and nine rebounds, squashed the rally.

Kennedy Gavin led the way for Jacksonville State with 27 points.