NestNotes: Owls in Good Position Heading into Second Half of ASUN Play

Needing a win on the road at NJIT to keep pace with the top of the ASUN, the Kennesaw State men's basketball team got just that when Kendrick Ray hit a layup with under five seconds left to secure the 54-53 victory. Ray led all scorers with 22 points in the game going 10-15 from the floor.

Nick Masterson was the other KSU player in double figures with 15 points. He scored 10 of those in the second half. With 4:21 remaining, he got loose and hit a huge three pointer to tie the game at 46.

NJIT briefly took the lead back with 17 seconds remaining, but Ray drove to the basket with his right hand and hit a tough layup over two defenders to put the Owls back up by one allowing them to secure the victory over the Highlanders

The win moves Kennesaw State to 4-4 in the ASUN and in a tie for fourth with North Florida. The Owls have six games remaining in the regular season, and the schedule sets up favorably for them the rest of the way as four of their six remaining games are at home starting this Saturday against USC Upstate.

With the victory over the Highlanders, the Owls finished January with a 5-4 record. It is the first time since Kennesaw State has joined the Division I ranks that they have had a winning record in January.

As a team, Kennesaw State is first in the nation in three-point field goal percentage shooting 43.1 percent. That mark is up eight percent from last season as the Owls shot 35.3 percent from the outside.

A big reason the team is leading the nation in three-point field goal percentage is because of Masterson and Ray. Masterson leads the country making 51.5 percent of his shots from three-point range and has made 68 threes this season. Ray has made 72 three pointers this year and is 30th in the country with a 42.1 percentage from down town. Both players have combined to make 140 of the team's 168 made this year.

This Saturday, Kennesaw State hosts USC Upstate for a 4:30 tipoff in a pivotal ASUN matchup. The Spartans currently sit one game ahead of the Owls in third place with a 5-3 record.

Not only is the game huge for the Owls on the court, but it will be Youth Day off the court for the women's basketball game at 2 and the men's game at 4:30.

Free Scrappy plush dolls will be handed out to the first 100 12 and under fans to attend the WBB game and the first 300 12 and under fans at the MBB game.

Ariel, Belle, Chewbacca and Marshall from Paw Patrol will be on hand from 3-5 p.m. to take pictures. Activities also include poster making, post-game autographs (both teams) and photos with Sturgis!


Kyle Hess

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