KENNESAW, Ga. -- A late second-half run was not enough to overcome a slow start as Kennesaw State came up short in a 64-54 loss to visiting Northern Kentucky in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Thursday at the KSU Convocation Center.
The Owls (3-24, 2-13) cut a 17-point second-half deficit to 10 points following a three-point play by sophomore guard Delbert Love (Cleveland, OH / St. Edward HS) with three minutes to play and had opportunity to move to within at least eight points following a turnover, but were unable to capitalize on the offensive end.
"I was disappointed with the energy and effort we had coming out," head coach Lewis Preston said. "I thought Northern Kentucky did what they needed to do, especially in the first half. They had a seven-point lead, pulled it up to 10 and got it up to 17. We made a mad dash to try to get back in it.
"Once again, we tried to throw it inside. It wasn't as effective as I thought we would be," Preston added. "We had some guys settle for things that they didn't need to settle for and I think the worst thing was we had 14 turnovers and easily 12 of them were self-inflicted."
Kennesaw State was led by freshman guard Myles Hamilton (Cleveland, OH / St. Edward HS) who scored 11 points, eight of which came in the second half as he went 4-for-7 from the field. Love also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points and collecting a team-high eight rebounds.
Junior guard Chad Jackson scored a game-high 17 points to lead Northern Kentucky (9-14, 7-8), while senior guard Ethan Faulkner went 10-for-10 from the foul line and finished with 14 points.
Kennesaw State shot just 28 percent (7-for-25) from the field in the first half and was outscored, 18-6 in the paint. The Owls turned things around in the second half as they went 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) in the final 20 points and were more effective inside, outscoring the Norse 16-10 in the paint.
Junior walk-on forward Kris Drees (Cumming, Ga. / West Forsyth HS) came off the bench and provided some energy for Kennesaw State as he scored two points and grabbed three rebounds while playing a career-high 11 minutes.
Senior forward Aaron Anderson (Tucson, Ariz., / Central Arizona College), the A-Sun Conference's leading rebounder, reached another milestone as he scored seven points and totaled seven rebounds to surpass 700 career rebounds. He currently ranks third all-time in Kennesaw State history with 702, and is first during the KSU's Division I era.
Anderson and forward Markeith Cummings (Birmingham, Ala. / Beach HS) will be recognized prior to Saturday's Senior Day game against Lipscomb as both players will play their final home game. Tipoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the KSU Convocation Center.
Kennesaw State University