Kennesaw, Ga. - Chelsea Dermyer scored a game-high 16 points as the Eagles fell 55-52 to the Kennesaw St. Owls on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles dropped their first game since Jan. 12 and had their nine game winning streak snapped with the loss.
With the win KSU improves to 14-10 (9-3 A-Sun), while the Eagles drop to 14-8 overall and 9-3 in conference. The loss moves FGCU into a tie with KSU for third place and one game out of first place.
In the first half, the Eagles decided that they wanted to attack the Kennesaw’s post players. They did just that by getting Montinique Nixon and reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, Britteny Henderson, into foul trouble early. Henderson picked up her second foul at the 16:33 mark and only logged four minutes in the half, while Nixon picked up her second foul at the 13:15 mark and only saw seven minutes of floor time in the opening half. After fouling out the Owls post players the Eagles went on to build a lead and took a 29-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Eagles and the Owls both shot less than 35 percent in the first half. FGCU shot 9-of-26 (34.6 percent), while Kennesaw St. shot 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) in the half.
In the second half, both teams continued to struggle offensively. Trailing 35-29 early in the second half, the Owls used seven straight points from DeAndrea Bullock to take their first lead of the game.
The two teams battled back-and-forth, with FGCU (14-8, 9-3) retaking the lead thanks to a free throw for Chelsea Dermyer (Fort Collins, Fla.). Dermyer would make another free throw one possession later to make it 45-43 for the Eagles.
The Owls got a pair of Brittany Henderson baskets on the their next two possession to give KSU the lead again with 4:27 to go. FGCU tied the score again on a layup with 3:07 left, but the Owls took the lead for good when Greteya Kelley sunk a pair of free throws and Jennifer Baker made a layup at the 2:00 mark, making the score 51-47.
The game was still up for grabs when Ashley Johnson stepped to the charity stripe with the Owls ahead by a point with 22.8 seconds left. Johnson knocked down both free throws to make it 55-52.
FGCU had a one last chance to tie the game, but Dermyer's three-pointer just before the final buzzer was highly contested and hit the side of the backboard, giving the Kennesaw St. a 55-52 victory.
Dermyer scored 16 points to lead the FGCU offense. Delia de la Torre (Las Cruces, N.M.) had 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The Eagles were outrebounded 53-28 and the FGCU bench was outscored 20-0.
Kennesaw St. was led by Greteya Kelley’s 16 points.
The Eagles face Mercer on Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.