The College of Charleston women dropped their season opener, 68-61, at Kennesaw State in a back-and-forth affair on Friday evening.
In head coach Candace Jackson’s debut, Charleston led for more than 20 minutes in the game, but a 13-5 KSU run in the final five minutes proved too much for the Cougars to overcome. The game saw nine lead changes and six ties over the course of 40 minutes.
A fast paced affair, KSU used a 7-2 in the game’s early minutes to take a 11-6 lead on Charleston. The Cougars fired back with an 8-1 run of their own to take a two point lead.
Charleston held KSU without a field goal for almost 10 minutes, which extended their lead to as many as 10 in the first half. The Owls ignited a late half run and Charleston went into the locker room with a 30-29 lead at halftime.
The second half closer on the scoreboard, with no team taking more than a five-point lead throughout the first 10 minutes.
Kennesaw State responded with a 21-9 run in the final eight minutes to take a 60-58 lead, which they never relinquished. The Cougars saw their shooting percentage dip to 33 percent in the second half, while the Owls shot over 54 percent from the field.
Freshman guard Shiclasia Brown knocked down a three ball to pull the Cougars within a possession in the final minute, but KSU stretched their lead with free throws to end the game.
Sophomore forward Breanna Bolden turned in a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double. Brown finished with 14 points in her debut.
“The quick turnaround represents a challenge,” Jackson said, “but it’s an opportunity for us to prepare for the quick turnarounds we’ll face deep in the season or in the tournament. We can’t sulk in the past; we have to move forward and be ready for UNC Greensboro, a team that’s similar to Kennesaw.”
Charleston faces UNC Greensboro at TD Arena on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.