Wednesday, January 9
7 p.m. – Kennesaw State (3-13, 0-1) vs Jacksonville (7-9, 0-1)
Kennesaw, Ga. | Convocation Center
| Live Stats
| KSU Game Notes
» The Kennesaw State men's basketball team returns to the Convocation Center to tip-off a three-game homestand with its home conference opener against Jacksonville Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
» Both KSU and Jacksonville are searching for their first ASUN win of the year after dropping their respective openers against NJIT and Lipscomb.
» Redshirt-junior Bryson Lockley
recorded his third double-double of the year at NJIT, scoring 11 points while tying his career-high with 14 rebounds. Lockley is ranked fourth in the ASUN averaging 7.3 boards per game.
» Isaac Mbuyamba
came up big on the glass as well against the Highlanders logging a career-high 12 rebounds. As a team, the Owls recorded 44 rebounds at NJIT, the fifth time this year they've logged 40 or more rebounds in a game. KSU is currently tied for second in the league averaging 37 rebounds per game.
» Tyler Hooker
recorded his seventh game with 15 or more points in the last eight contests with 19 at NJIT. He is second in the league with an 18.5 points per game average. Hooker needs just four points in the next game to record 300 points in back-to-back seasons.
» As a team, the Owls rank fifth in the conference averaging 2.9 blocks per game. Isaac Mbuyamba
and Antonio Spencer
are among the league's top-15 shot blockers tied for fifth and 13th respectively.
» Against NJIT, the Owls recorded 10 turnovers for the second straight game, tying their second fewest turnovers this season. On the year, KSU is averaging 14.4 turnovers per game, the fourth lowest mark in the conference.
The Dolphins and Owls square off on Wednesday in search of their first conference win of the season. Jacksonville is currently 7-9 on the year after dropping its most recent game against Lipscomb, 77-74, its fourth straight loss.
JU holds an 18-10 series record over the Owls, having won three of the last four meetings. So far this season, Jacksonville ranks fourth in the league for points per game (76.1) and shooting percentage (45.5).
Sophomore JD Notae and redshirt senior Jace Hogan are the main reasons for JU's scoring production ranked seventh and eighth in the conference for points per game, averaging 14.4 and 14.3 per game, respectively. Notae also ranks among the league's top-5 for assists (3rd) and steals (4th).
Around the rim, sophomore Jalyn Hinton has proven to be a force, leading the league with 37 total blocks, the only player with 30 or more blocks on the year.
Last Time Out
It proved to be a tale of two halves in KSU's ASUN opener at NJIT as the Owls saw a first half lead slip away late as the Highlanders came alive in the second half to pull away for the win. Bryson Lockley
notched his third double-double of the season, but it was not enough to quell NJIT's hot-shooting in the second period.
The Owls came out firing to open the game on a 7-0 run. NJIT eventually settled down, responding with an 11-0 run of its own to take a 13-9 lead at the 12:04 mark. Bobby Parker
finally broke the Highlanders run with a jumper followed by a three-pointer to regain the lead for KSU, 14-13.
The two squads proceeded to trade buckets until Hooker came alive with five minutes remaining in the first half. The Simpsonville, S.C., native scored the next 12 straight points for the Owls to close out the period on a 12-2 run and take a 30-23 lead over the Highlanders at the half.
The Owls held NJIT's Cooks to only two points in the opening half.
The Highlanders got back in it during the opening minutes of the second half, going on a 10-0 run to take the lead, 35-33, at the 16:36 mark. NJIT extended its lead behind a 13-2 run to make it 48-37.
The Highlanders pushed their lead to as high as 21 points as KSU went over four minutes without a field goal. NJIT outscored the Owls 49-22 in the second half, shooting 63 percent from the floor, compared to 24 percent for the Owls, and 7-of-14 from three-point range.
The Owls neared their season-high with 44 rebounds at NJIT, marking the fifth time this season KSU has logged 40 or more boards. KSU is tied for second in the ASUN averaging 37 rebounds per game, having secured 35 or more rebounds in nine of the last 10 contests.
KSU also has the second-highest mark in the league for offensive boards, averaging 11.8 per game.
Against the Highlanders, both Bryson Lockley
and Isaac Mbuyamba
hit double-figures for rebounding. Lockley tied his career-high, set earlier this year, with 14 rebounds while Mbuyamba set a new career mark with 12 boards, the first time in his career he has logged 10 or more rebounds.
Three Owls are currently ranked among the conference's top-15 for rebounds per game. Lockley ranks fourth in the conference averaging 7.3 rebounds per game while Kosta Jankovic
(5.3 rpg) and Isaac Mbuyamba
(5.3 rpg) are tied for 13th.
Lockley broke 100 rebounds on the year (117) following the game at Yale, making him one of five players in the conference to hit the century mark. Lockley has already surpassed his season total from last year (94), recording double-digit boards in four games.
KSU's current 37 rebounds per game average would break the previous Division I single-season record of 35.9 set in 2016-17.
Got You Hooked
Red-shirt junior Tyler Hooker
has been a sight to watch this year, filling up the stat sheet and the scoreboard. So far this season he has scored in double-digits in all but one game, 20 or more points in five contests, recording 15 or more points in seven of the last eight games.
Hooker set a new career-high this year with 30 points against Belmont before pouring in six three-pointers against Tennessee Tech, the second-most treys made in a single-game in DI history, to log 28 points. At NJIT, Hooker scored 15 straight points for the Owls spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second period.
The Simpsonville, S.C., native ranks second in the ASUN averaging 18.5 points per game and is one of three players in the league to have over 250 points on the year. He needs just four more points to record 300 points in back-to-back seasons.
He also ranks among the conference's best at the free throw line with 69 made buckets at the charity stripe to rank second. His 83.1 shooting percentage from the free throw line ranks fourth in the league.
If he can continue at this pace, Hooker would rank among the top-10 single-season scorers all-time at KSU in both total points and points per game.
Not done there, Hooker also ranks among the conference's top-10 for steals (T-6th) and assists (T-6th).
Got It On Lockley
has been a huge piece for the Owls in his second season at KSU, recording three double-doubles so far this season.
During KSU's conference-opener at NJIT, he logged his third double-double of the year, tying his career-high with 14 rebounds, the most by any player in the league on opening day.
The Houston, Texas native leads the team and ranks fourth in the ASUN averaging 7.3 rebounds per game. He is one of five players in the conference to record over 100 rebounds on the year.
Lockley has already surpassed his rebound total from last season, recording 94 during the 2017-18 campaign, as well as his assists total. He has also nearly doubled his scoring production from a year ago, averaging 6.9 points per game compared to 3.7 last season.
Lockley is one of three players on the team with 25 or more assists (27), while ranked third on the squad for blocks (6).
It's A Block Party!
Junior Isaac Mbuyamba
wreaked havoc at Gardner-Webb with six blocks. Not only is that a new career-high for Mbuyamba, but it sets a new Division I single-game record for KSU, falling just one block shy of the overall program record of seven set by Ron Ruffin in 1995.
Mbuyamba leads the team with 17 total blocks on the year. He currently ranks fifth in the ASUN for total blocks. The Portland, Ore., product has a shot at cracking the career block top-10 list this season with 44 blocks so far in his KSU career. Israel Brown (1989-93) currently holds the No. 10 spot with 58.
As a team, KSU ranks fifth in the conference averaging 2.9 blocks per game. At Gardner-Webb, the Owls recorded eight total blocks, tying the second most blocks all-time in a single-game at KSU. The Owls have recorded five or more blocks three times this year, and at least one block in all but two games.
Freshman Antonio Spencer
is another big factor in KSU's blocking prowess with 10 on the year to rank tied for 13th in the conference.
From Long Distance!
became the second Owl this season to record six three-pointers in a single-game, going 6-of-8 from beyond the arc at Yale. Jankovic did not miss his first three-pointer until halfway through the second half.
Only Tyler Hooker
, 6-of-10 against Tennessee Tech, and Bobby Parker
, 5-of-7 at Samford, have made five or more three-pointers in a game this year. Both Jankovic and Hooker's six made treys ties the second-most three-point field goals made in a single-game in KSU DI history.
Only two players in the league, JT Escobar of North Florida and Shadarac Casimir of FGCU, have recorded more three-pointers in a game.
Hooker is currently tied for 11th in the league with 25 made three-pointers this season.
The Owls have made the most of their chances at the charity stripe as of late, shooting 60 percent or better in eight of the last nine games.
KSU is one of five teams in the conference to make over 200 buckets at the free throw line.
In KSU's game against Eastern Kentucky, the Owls sank 31 free throws, a mark that is tied for third most all-time in a single-game.
currently ranks second in the conference with 69 made free throws on the year. He ranks fourth in the league shooting 83.1 percent at the line. He has not missed more than two free throws in a game all year.
Like The Energizer Bunny
Three Owls, Tyler Hooker
, Bryson Lockley
and Kosta Jankovic
, have long-lasting batteries averaging over 30 minutes per game. All three rank among the ASUN's top-10 for minutes per game.
Hooker ranks second averaging 35.1 minutes per game followed by Lockley (32.4) in fifth and Jankovic (30.0) in ninth.
Protect The Nest
The Owls have done a good job of protecting their home court recording eight wins in each of the last three seasons. Before the 2015-16 campaign, KSU has only recorded eight home wins three times since joining Division I (2006-07, 2007-08 and 2009-10).
Following Wednesday's game, the Owls have the next week off before returning to the court to host ASUN newcomer Liberty Wednesday (Jan. 16) at 7 p.m.