KENNESAW, Ga. -- The one-two punch of Chelsea Mason and Sametria Gideon proved strong on Saturday afternoon as the Kennesaw State women's basketball team took a 57-51 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Jacksonville in the KSU Convocation Center.
Mason (Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West HS) earned the second double-double of her stand-out freshman season with a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds while Gideon (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS) tipped in 20 points of her own with nine boards and a pair of blocks.
"We left it all out on the court today," said Kennesaw State head coach Nitra Perry. "It was just 40 minutes of total basketball. It wasn't a game with no mistakes, but we bounced back from those better than we have in any other game this season. Sametria came out and set the tone the right way for us. She wanted the ball, played terrific defense and was talking out on the court. Then Mason scored the ball really well for us and had an outstanding day."
The Owls, who improve to 6-17 on the year and 2-9 in the A-Sun, played a solid final five minutes of basketball, taking what was a two-point lead and extending it to six with just over one minute remaining on a Mason free-throw attempt, 55-49. Ashley Holliday (Greenville, S.C./J.L. Mann Academy) and Chantel Kennedy (Brooklyn, N.Y./Colorado St.) then connected on a pair of freebies in the final seconds to clinch the 57-51 victory for the Owls.
After battling back and forth in the early minutes of the ballgame, Jacksonville (7-16, 3-9 A-Sun) inched out to an 11-point lead at the 8:55 mark in the first half, 21-10. But the Owls overcame the deficit, tying the game up at 26 with a 16-5 run capped off by a Nicole Adams (New Port Richey, Fla./Gulf HS) three-pointer. A buzzer-beating three then sent JU into the intermission with a 29-26 advantage.
Sametria Gideon was presented the game ball before tonight's game after earning her 1,000th career rebound earlier this season at Lipscomb
The black and gold immediately cut the lead down to one with a Mason layup seconds in to the second period before Kennedy tied things up at 30 at the 17:18 mark. Jacksonville regained a four-point lead but not before Mason struck again, this time with a layup to tie it at 34.
Gideon then gave KSU the lead for good on a pair of free throws with 11:38 remaining as the Owls took the win.
"We've been working really hard in practice," said Gideon of the effort. "Coach has been on us and she's such a competitor and we came out before this game and said 'we're just not going to lose this game tonight.' I just wanted my team to win and we came out and did what we had to do."
Holliday dished out a career-high eight assists during the game as the Owls were good for a season-high 15 assists as a team.
On the glass, KSU took down 39 rebounds to the Dolphins 30 with Mason's 10 leading both squads.
KSU also capitalized on 16 JU turnovers, turning the errors into 21 points on the other end.
In the paint, the Owls were dominant as well, putting in 30 points under the basket.
The Owls will return to their home floor this Monday, Feb. 11, for a meeting with the University of North Florida at 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State University