Kennesaw, Ga. - Jacksonville women's basketball (8-7, 1-1 ASUN) suffered their first conference loss of the season at the hands of Kennesaw State (5-10, 1-1 ASUN) Tuesday night. Jacksonville played solid during the first two quarters, and trailed by just one at the half. However, the Dolphins mustered just 22 points in the second half, and eventually fell to the Owls 75-55.
Six points was the largest lead either team could come up with during the first quarter. After trading buckets early, Trudy Walker and Amber Bender put in work down low to put together a 9-2 run. The Dolphins led 14-8 by the first media timeout, but just two points would separate the teams after ten minutes. It looked as though Jacksonville wouldn't have any trouble scoring after knocking down 9-of-14 for 21 points in the first quarter.
The second quarter was harder on the Dolphins, as they turned the ball over five times and allowed the Owls to jump out in front. Jacksonville couldn't find a score in the first three minutes of the period, while the Owls hit a pair of threes to swing the momentum. Senior Jasmyn Brown did manage to knock down a three of her own in the quarter, and five more points from Bender would keep the Dolphins' deficit from exceeding two before halftime.
Jacksonville opened the third quarter by missing their first seven shooting attempts. Meanwhile, the Owls put together a 10-0 run to give themselves a 45-33 lead. The Dolphins eventually found a way to end the scoring drought, but didn't add to their score in the first four minutes of the quarter. By the end of the third, the Owls had outscored Jacksonville 22-12, and forced eight more Dolphin turnovers.
Down 57-45, the fourth quarter was no more friendly to Jacksonville. The team went 3-of-7 from the floor, and was outscored 18-10. The Dolphins ended the night with a 48.9 shooting percentage, and did manage to out-rebound the Owls.
Walker led the Dolphins in scoring with 12. The senior also added 11 rebounds to secure her fifth double-double of the season. Rolanda Hayes finished with 11 points, two blocks, and two steals. Bender scored nine and hauled in eight rebounds.
Next, Jacksonville travels to central Virginia to play first year ASUN opponent Liberty (4-10, 0-1 ASUN) on Saturday, Jan. 12. Saturday's game will be the first ever meeting between the two programs. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.