#NestNotes: ASUN Season Begins

With ASUN play underway, the Owls have a huge week ahead of them hosting FGCU and Stetson. Thursday night at 7 p.m., Kennesaw State will tip off against the defending ASUN Champions on Student Appreciation Night.

This past week, the Kennesaw State men's basketball team finished out non-conference play with a tough road game at Tennessee State before beginning ASUN action at Lipscomb on Saturday, January 7.

The final non-conference game proved to be a good one as the Owls got their best road victory of the season knocking off Tennessee State, who was ranked 61st in the RPI rankings at the time. Kendrick Ray led KSU with 20 points and Nick Masterson and Tyler Hooker both had 15 points each.

In the victory, several Kennesaw State players contributed as eight different players scored. Defensively, KSU posted a season high in blocks against a Division I opponent with seven. Freshman Zach Cameron led the way stuffing four shots in 10 minutes of action. Jordan Jones had the other three blocks for the Owls.

The win made Kennesaw State's record 6-10 going into ASUN Conference play. The six wins matches the most wins during a non-conference season since the Owls joined the Division I ranks.

After defeating Tennessee State, the Owls focus turned to ASUN play. Kennesaw State opened at Lipscomb.

The Owls held a lead late in the game, but in the end the home team was shooting the ball too well in the second half for KSU to steal a road victory against the Bison. Ray had an attempt to tie the game with a shot just over half court, but couldn't get the shot to fall as Kennesaw State dropped the ASUN opener to Lipscomb 82-79.

KSU held Lipscomb to its lowest scoring total in a half so far this season allowing the Bison to only score 27 in the first 20 minutes. The Bison hit the fourth most threes in the nation averaging 10.9 per game and went just 3-15 in the first 20 minutes.

Offensively, the Owls were also in rhythm most of the game assisting on 21 of their 29 field goals. That is the fourth time this season KSU has had at least 20 assists in a game.

For the week, Ray averaged 21.5 points posting his 10th and 11th 20-point game of the season. The redshirt senior is tied for sixth in the country averaging 22.6 points per game.

Another player that had a big impact against Lipscomb was James Scott.

Scott played in his first ASUN contest and showed no fear when he was on the court. The freshman set two career highs with 17 points and six assists. At one point in the second half with the Owls trailing by seven, Scott reeled off eight straight points to put Kennesaw State back in front. For the season, Scott is averaging 9.8 points per game, and per 40 minutes of action, he is averaging 22.9.

This week, the Owls are back at home to face Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and Stetson on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday night is Student Appreciation Night. One student will win a semester of FREE books courtesy of the KSU Bookstore. To be eligible to win students must be decked out in their most spirited gear. The fans will vote on the top 4 most spirited students via Twitter. Valid KSU ID required.

Students will also be able to win win $500 from Carl Black of Kennesaw (carlblackkennesaw.com) in a free throw shooting contest as well as cash from Fifth Third Bank (53.com).

Tickets for students are FREE to every home game for all Kennesaw State sports.


Kyle Hess

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