NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With a 16-rebound effort during a Kennesaw State women's basketball 55-39 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Lipscomb, KSU senior Sametria Gideon eclipsed the 1,000 rebound mark for her career, becoming the first Owl with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds and the ninth player in the league history to do so.
"It's such an amazing feat for her to accomplish that," said Kennesaw State head coach Nitra Perry. "It's something not a lot of people accomplish, getting those kinds of numbers in their careers, and I couldn't be happier for her."
The Owls came away with their first conference win of the season and the first in the head coaching career of Perry as the Owls move to 5-16 overall and 1-8 in the A-Sun.
Stout defense helped bolster the KSU lead in the opening half as the black and gold held Lipscomb (2-17, 1-8 A-Sun) scoreless from the field from the 15:45 mark to the 2:01 mark, going on an 18-4 run over that stretch to take a 28-14 lead. Chelsea Mason (Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West HS) hit on a layup to end the half for the Owls, taking a 30-16 lead into the half.
Coming back out of the break the black and gold extended its lead, going on a 6-2 run to jump up, 36-18, on a pair of jumpers from Mason. Three minutes later it was Gideon (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS) who gave the Owls their largest lead of the game at 20 points with a five-footer after catching her own offensive rebound.
The Bison managed to dwindle the KSU lead down to just eight points with 1:34 to go, but timely free-throw shooting from the Owls along with strong play off the glass gave the Owls the 55-39 win.
"I'm excited for our players, It was a total team effort," said Perry of the win. "Christine (Wylie) came in and only played four minutes but got us two huge blocks and Sametria played out of her mind. She was outstanding on the boards coming down with 16 and getting her 1,000th was huge for her."
The Owls shattered their previous high in team rebounds with 56 with six players pulling down six or more including Gideon's season-high 16 and a career-high nine from Nicole Adams (New Port Richey, Fla./Gulf HS).
16 offensive rebounds for KSU helped bring the Owls 16 second chance points.
KSU also put four players in double-figures scoring led by Mason's game-high 17. Adams finished up with a career-best of 15, the second straight game she has broken her career high in scoring, while Gideon made it back-to-back double-doubles and 11 total on the year with her 13 points. Ashley Holliday (Greenville, S.C./J.L. Mann Academy) was the fourth in double-figures with 10.
"Chelsea and Nicole stepped up big for us," said Perry of her freshmen. "Nicole had 15 points and it seemed like every time we needed a big shot she came up with one and Mason led us with 17 points but she was also big on the boards tonight."
Gideon also tied a career-high with five blocks as Holliday dished out six assists.
"This was a huge confidence booster for us," added Perry. "We're going to enjoy this win tonight, take tomorrow off and be back at it the rest of this week. We have a good team in Mercer coming up and we know what we have to do."
The Owls will wrap up their three-game road stretch this Saturday, Feb. 2, when the black and gold head to cross-state rival Mercer for a 2 p.m. contest.
Kennesaw State University