White Out Announced as Owls Host in North Alabama

Kennesaw State (9-9), (5-2) against northern Alabama (7-11), (2-5)
Location: Kennesaw, Georgia | Convocation center of the KSU
Date: January 26th
Time: 5:00 p.m. EST
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KENNESAW, Georgia – Kennesaw State women’s basketball returns to the KSU Convocation Center Thursday at 5 p.m. for a white out against North Alabama
Fans are encouraged to wear white clothing and complimentary KSU White Out t-shirts will be available. The women’s game against the Lions will be the first of a doubleheader, with the men’s game against Austin Peay starting at 7:30 am after that.

KSU and UNA met seven times, with the Lions holding a narrow 4-3 lead. However, the Owls are 3-0 at home and looking to remain unbeaten in the series against the Lions at the KSU Convocation Center.

Last season, Kennesaw State defeated North Alabama 63-50 on its home court Amani Johnson finished with 18 points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds and Gabi Legister added 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists to lead the Owls. KSU’s defense choked in victory, limiting UNA to 29.3 percent from the field and just 16 percent from across the arc.

Kennesaw State has a 5-1 record at home, its best start in almost a decade. The Owls have won three straight games at the KSU Convocation Center. KSU averages 78.7 points per game and only allows 58.5 points per contest with an average win margin of 20.2. The Owls have also broken the century mark twice in six home games this season.

Owls have had the best start in ASUN Play since 2007/08
After a grueling three-game non-conference list against Power-5 opponents, KSU has won eight of its last 11 games, including a 71-52 win at previously undefeated ASUN Action Lipscomb and two wins over Jacksonville State. The 5-2 start under sophomore coach Octavia Blue is the Owls’ best start in ASUN since the 2007-08 season. KSU currently ranks fourth in the ASUN standings with Liberty. Kennesaw State has already equaled last season’s overall wins in overall and conference wins.

Hit the boards
KSU’s offensive rebound has been a staple all season. The Owls lead the ASUN in offensive rebounds per game with 13.2. Kennesaw State has downed at least 11 offensive rebounds in 13 of 18 games this season.

Amani Johnson Adds another milestone
The qualified senior added another important milestone to her outstanding career on Saturday. Johnson knocked down two free throws late in the game against Austin Peay, pushing her past the 1,500 point mark in her KSU career. The guard is already the all-time best KSU DI in goals scored (1,511), assists (576), field goals made (556), field goals attempted (1,483), minutes played (4,702) and steals (237). Johnson’s 5.1 assists per game ranks third in the ASUN.

Owls fly high
Kennesaw State is 8-3 in its last 11 games, which included a three-game winning streak for the first time since early February last year. The Owls defeated Bellarmine on February 5–12 prior to a season on the road in central Arkansas and northern Florida. That season, KSU recorded another three-game winning streak with wins against Austin Peay at home and wins away at Bellarmine and Lipscomb.

Defense is key
The KSU defense is fueling the team’s success this season, and the Owls are 8-2 if they keep their opponent below 40 percent when shooting from the field. The KSU defense has held opponents under 65 points in six straight games and held three of those opponents to 57 points or fewer. Kennesaw State is 5-0 this season if it caps opponents under 60 points.

Hooks scores career-high 21 points at Lipscomb

Carly Haken filled the stat sheet during Thursday’s win at Lipscomb. The Atlanta native finished the night with a career-best 21 points, four rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists. The junior was just as efficient in a 65-60 win at Jacksonville State, where she had 19 points (16 in the second half and 10 in the third quarter), three steals, an assist and a rebound. Hooks leads the squad in steals (28) and blocks (12).

Whitfield Leading Owls in several categories

Jah’Che Whitfield finished the ASUN conference opener with a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds at EKU, hitting her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career. A Sumter, SC native, he has scored at least 11 points in 11 of the last 12 games and leads the Owls in points scoring (13.9), rebounds (5.7), defensive rebounds (77), field goals made (93) , field goals attempted (209), free throws made (50), free throws attempted (79), and three-point percentage (.455). The graduate senior ranks seventh in ASUN for points per game (13.9) and 16th for rebounds (5.7).

Exploring Northern Alabama
Two 20-plus performances, including a career-high 28 point at Pitt, resulted in Hina Suzuki being named ASUN Player of the Week. The North Alabama women’s basketball team’s 5-3 guard takes home a weekly conference award for the first time in her career. For the week, Suzuki averaged 25 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. She finished week 17 of 31 from the floor with seven three-pointers. Since the University of North Alabama made the leap to Division I athletics in the 2018-19 season, the UNA women’s basketball program has ranked third in ASUN overall wins. Trailing only FGCU (68) and Liberty (52), the Lions are tied with Stetson on 37 conference wins. A record of 37-33 is good for the third-best percentage of conference wins during that period among teams that have played at least 3 seasons in ASUN since 2018-19. With four blocked shots against Bellarmine on Jan. 5, UNA forward Skyler Gill has passed 113 career blocks. Her fourth block of the game took her to 115 career blocks, surpassing the previous record of 113 set by Brittany Panetti (2017-20). The Wichita, Kan. student holds program records for most blocks in a game (8) and most blocks in a season (76), and set both marks as a true freshman a year ago. She currently ranks seventh in the nation at 2.7 blocks per game and 10th overall in the country at 48 blocks.

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