Second-half defense lifts EKU women over Kennesaw
Colonels erase seven-point halftime deficit on way to win
Defenses dominated early as a pair of baskets from Bria Bass put EKU up 6-4 midway through the first quarter. The Colonels (11-11, 4-5 ASUN) led by five with 53 second left in the period, but EKU turnovers led to a 6-0 Owl run to close the quarter.
Kennesaw State (6-13, 2-6 ASUN) extended its lead in the second stanza, connecting on a trio of three-pointers before the media timeout to move ahead 27-19 with 5:16 to go before halftime. The Owls built an 11-point lead, but back-to-back buckets from I’Liyah Green to end the half cut the Colonels’ deficit to 33-26.
Trailing by nine with 7:51 to play in the third quarter, EKU embarked on its biggest run of the afternoon. Alice Recanati’s layup started a 16-2 run over the next five minutes as Eastern held Kennesaw State to 1-of-6 shooting and forced three turnovers to take a 46-41 lead with 2:38 left in the quarter. Neither team scored in the final two minutes of the quarter and EKU took a 46-43 lead into the final period.
Eastern Kentucky pushed its lead to 54-46 on a Kalissa Lacy three-pointer with 6:52 to play and pulled ahead by nine on a three from Emma Hacker at the 4:12 mark. The Owls rallied to within five with 1:44 remaining, but EKU converted seven of its next 10 free-throw attempts to ice the game.
Recanati led the Colonels with 20 points and nine assists. Green posted a double-double with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds while adding three blocks. Bass finished the game with 10 points.
EKU shot 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) from the field and made three of their four three-point attempts in the fourth quarter. The Colonels also knocked down 19-of-29 free throws.
Eastern Kentucky continues ASUN play Saturday as the Colonels host Liberty at 4:30 p.m.