Kennesaw State (4-7), (0-0) in Eastern Kentucky (7-6), (0-0)
Location: Richmond, Ky. | Baptist Health Arena
Date: January 2
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Live Stats | Video
KENNESAW, Ga. – Kennesaw State women’s basketball heads to Richmond, Ky. to take on Eastern Kentucky to open ASUN Conference play on Monday at 7:00 PM at Baptist Health Arena.
The Owls are coming off a program-record 109 points in a 56-point win over Coastal Georgia. Amani Johnson was cemented even further into the Kennesaw State record books after passing it Alexis Poole as KSU’s all-time Division I leader. The Owls enter Thursday’s game with three wins in their last four games.
EKU leads the all-time series 2-0 with the Colonels winning both contests last year. Eastern Kentucky ended the Owls’ season with a 71-57 victory in the ASUN Conference Tournament. Amani Johnson led KSU with 13 points, five assists and three rebounds in a game that featured 12 lead changes before EKU pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Jah’Che Whitfield anchors KSU’s offense, averaging 13.3 points per game and has scored in double figures in five straight games. Amani Johnson is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.5 points and a team-best 5.4 assists. Lyndsey Whilby averages 9.2 points per game and leads the Owls with 18 three-pointers on the season.
KSU and Amani Johnson Break track records over Coastal Georgia
Kennesaw State scored a program-record 109 points and Amani Johnson added another record to an already distinguished career as the graduating senior scored 15 points to break KSU’s Division I career scoring record as the Owls rolled past Georgia Coast 109-53. Johnson finished with her first double-double of the season, scoring 15 and dishing out a career-high 13 assists. Johnson passed Alexis Poole on the all-time scoring list, who set the record last season for KSU. The Owls set season highs in points (109), field goals (38), field goal attempts (81), free throws (25), assists (23), steals (15) and blocked shots (6) ) in a dominant performance against the Mariners. Six Owls scored in double figures in the 56-point win over the Mariners.
Owls Take Down Furman For First Road Win
Kennesaw State defeated Furman 75-69 on the road for its second straight win Thursday night at Timmons Arena. Amani Johnson, Jah’Che Whitfield AND Carl Hooks combined for 46 points as the Owls earned their first road win of the season. Johnson finished with a team-high 17 points, Whitfield scored 15 and Hooks finished with 14. Hooks was especially effective in the second half, scoring 12 of her 14 points in the final 20 minutes of action. KSU dominated the paint and in transition, outscoring Furman 38-22 and 13-2 in fast break points.
KSU knocks off Georgia State for the third time in program history
Second-year head coach Octavia Blue and the Owls improved to 2-0 at home this season with a 69-63 win over Georgia State for the third win against the Panthers in program history. In the season opener, the Owls hit the century mark for the second time in KSU DI history on Nov. 7, in a 100-57 win over Middle Georgia State. The Owls knocked down 11 three-pointers, tied for the fourth-highest total in school history, and grabbed 61 rebounds in the win, second-highest in KSU history.
Hooks and Whitfield Set Career-Highs at FIU
Carl Hooks finished with 15 points, five rebounds, a team-best three steals and two blocks at FIU, including a career-high 5 3-pointers. The Atlanta, Ga. native was the first Owl to knock down at least five triples in a game since Amani Johnson (7-for-7) and Gillian Piccolino (6-for-9) on Jan. 24, 2021, vs. North Florida. Jah’Che Whitfield scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting at FIU on Sunday. Her 22 points were the most by a KSU player through eight games this season. Whitfield followed that up with a strong performance against Georgia State, posting 18 points, four rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block in the win. The graduate guard also led the team in scoring against Mercer, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Score gun Back to Kennesaw State
The Owls return 73.8% of their goals from a year ago. Graduate guards Amani Johnson AND Jah’Che Whitfield combined for 602 total points on KSU’s offense last season, with Johnson scoring over 300 points and Whitfield 235.
Power Five Flux
Kennesaw State made several new additions to the team this offseason, signing two guards and two forwards who transferred from Power 5 schools. The former Purdue guard and Georgia native Lyndsey Whilby returns home to play her senior season at Kennesaw State. Keyarah Berry, a sophomore guard from Indiana, looks to propel KSU’s offense to new heights after scoring 3,340 points in her high school basketball career, which ranks second all-time in the state of Georgia. Junior forward Kyndall Gold previously played nine games at Vanderbilt, averaging 15.7 minutes per game in her sophomore season. Second progress Taylor Cullinan also returns to her native Georgia after playing six games at Alabama and an impressive career at North Paulding High School.
Owls welcome new assistant coaches
The Owls added two new assistant coaches this past offseason. Malikah Willis joins the Owls with over 20 years of coaching experience from 10 different colleges, including West Virginia and Georgia Tech. Established as a high-profile veteran recruiter and coach, Willis helped assemble seven top-25 recruiting classes and coached 16 student-athletes to all-conference honors, including five future draft picks of the WNBA. Drew Landers brings seven years of Division I coaching experience to KSU as a former assistant coach at USC Upstate for the previous two seasons. Landers improved the Spartans’ win total to 14 games, finishing with a 22-8 record, as well as helping to recruit and develop players at the national level.
Scouting Eastern Kentucky
The Colonels begin conference play on a three-game winning streak over Army West Point, Union College and Alice Lloyd College. In EKU’s last two games against in-state programs, the Colonels posted back-to-back 100-point victories for the first time in program history. EKU looks forward to the debut of Antwainette Walker in ASUN play, the redshirt senior is averaging 21.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game, all leading the conference. Lisle, Ill. product. is currently sixth in the nation in doubles this season with eight. Marissa Mackins enters conference play with five games under her belt, sitting out last season after transferring from conference foe North Florida. The Durham, NC native is averaging 17.2 points per game, including five double-digit scoring games. With eight three-pointers against Union, Mackins was one away from the EKU program record. Graduate Danielle Rainey recorded EKU’s first triple-double in program history with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 110-49 win over Alice Lloyd College. Eastern Kentucky’s lone member of the ASUN Pre-Season All-Conference team, Alice Recanati, has led the Colonels in assists in 11-of-13 (.846) games this season. The redshirt sophomore sits at 9.5 points and 4.8 assists a night, with 63 assists on the season, Recanati is third in the ASUN and 36th nationally.
To keep up with the latest Kennesaw State women’s basketball news, follow the team on Twitter @KSUOwlNation AND @KSUOwlsWBB or liking Kennesaw State University at Facebook.
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