Hooker JU
90
Jacksonville JAX 8-9, 1-1 ASUN
70
Kennesaw State KSU 3-14, 0-2 ASUN
Score By Periods
Team 1 2 F
Jacksonville JAX 42 48 90
Kennesaw State KSU 35 35 70

Next Game:

Liberty

1/16/2019 | 7 p.m.

Game Recap: Men's Basketball |

Hooker Paces Owls As KSU Falls To Jacksonville

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KENNESAW, Ga. –
Tyler Hooker was two points shy of his career-high, leading all scorers with 28 points, but it was not enough to propel the Kennesaw State men's basketball team to victory as it fell to Jacksonville, 90-70, Wednesday night to open a three-game homestand.

How it happened: After a three-pointer to open the game from Jacksonville (8-9, 1-1), the Owls (3-14, 0-2) and Dolphins traded buckets until an 8-0 run gave JU the lead, 13-4, at the 15:51 mark. Hooker finally snapped the run with a trey, but JU answered immediately with a three-pointer of its own.

The Owls battled back into it following a 12-0 run capped off by three points the hard way from Danny Lewis, making his first career start, to give the Owls the lead 19-18 with 11:48 to go. The two teams proceeded to trade buckets deadlocked at 27-27 until a quick 5-0 swing gave Jacksonville some cushion.

JU pushed its lead to as high as nine points, 40-31, following an 8-2 run capped off by yet another three-pointer. The Owls scored four of the final six points in the half to head into the locker room trailing 42-35. Both teams went 4-of-8 from three-point range in the opening period with JU shooting 63 percent from the floor and coming up big down low, outscoring KSU 24-8 in the paint.

After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Jacksonville began to run away with it going on a 17-0 run to lead 66-42 at the 12:52 mark. KSU cut the lead down to 66-48 with a 6-0 run, but that would be as close as the Owls would get the rest of the game as JU responded with a 10-0 run.

Hooker scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half to pace the Owls, who shot 35.3 percent from the floor in the second period compared to 54.4 percent for JU.

Notes: Tyler Hooker's 28 points marks the sixth time this season he has netted 20 or more points, and eighth time in the last nine games he's recorded 15 or more … Kosta Jankovic reached double-digits for the fourth time in the last six games with 17 points, scoring 10 in the second half alone … Bobby Parker was the third Owl in double-figures with 10 points, his fourth game this year with 10 or more points … KSU's seven made three-pointers is one shy of their season-high … The Owls tied their season-high with 16 forced turnovers resulting in 21 points … KSU logged eight steals in the game, only the third time this year they have recorded eight or more … KSU's bench outscored JU 35-21 … Jacksonville finished the game outscoring KSU 46-24 in the paint.

Quotes: Head Coach Al Skinner
On the offensive execution…
"The most important thing is that obviously we have to be a better defensive team, but in saying that, we have to execute better on the offensive end. When we mishandle the ball and they get runouts, then that creates opportunities for them, easy opportunities. And that happened to us, it's happened to us in both these last two games in the second half. We don't handle the ball well or we shoot it too quickly, they get runouts, and all of a sudden, a six-point lead, an eight-point lead, is 15, and then we start pressing and it makes it that much more difficult. Our lack of experience shows at times, and we have to show a little more maturity and execute better. It's obvious our starters did not shoot the ball well, and that puts us in a hole. Our bench came in and did a good job for us in the second half. I mean in the first half they kind of got us back into it, but again our starters had a bad start to the second half, put us in a hole and we couldn't catch up. Those things have to improve, but our offensive execution has to improve and we have to handle the ball better.

On the difference in the paint…
"Our half-court defense wasn't as good as it needed to be, along with transition baskets that they got. They really made an attempt to attack the basket, and we have got to be able to defend the basket a little bit better."

On the focus for the coming week…
"We are going to concentrate on the things we can do. We'll work on our defense, but more importantly we'll work on our offensive execution. Because again, if we can keep teams out of transition, then we should be ok, but tonight we didn't defend as well as we needed to. Whether it was transition baskets or half-court defense, we didn't do a good job, and we've got to take a little more pride in that."

Up next: The Owls have the next week off before continuing their homestand against Liberty next Wednesday (Jan. 16) at 7 p.m.
 
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