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KSU rallies behind Holliday's 25 as the Owls tame the Bulldogs | News

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KSU rallies behind Holliday's 25 as the Owls tame the Bulldogs

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- With a season-high 25-point performance from senior guard Ashley Holliday, the Kennesaw State women's basketball team earned its third win of the year with a 71-62 routing of UNC Asheville.

Holliday (Greenville, S.C./T.L. Hannah HS) connected on 7-of-19 attempts from the field and 5-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc, putting in over half of KSU's nine three-pointers during the win. Of the eight players who saw action, seven of them put in points with Kristina Wells (Douglasville, Ga./Douglas County HS) and Chelsea Mason (Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West HS) scoring in double digits with 13 and 11 points respectively along with Holliday's 25.

"It was just a total team effort," said Kennesaw State head coach Nitra Perry "Ashley stepped up for us big as did Kristina. Everybody we sent in did a great job and contributed to the win."

The Owls, now 3-6, shot 43-percent from the field as well as from beyond the arc, hitting on 9-of-21 attempts while committing a season-low 11 turnovers. On the flipside, Asheville, 2-8, committed 17 turnovers, leading directly to 25 Kennesaw State points.

After falling behind by four points in the early portion of the first half, 17-13, the black and gold clipped off an 11-0 run over the next three minutes, picking up a field goal from Holliday and a triple from Nicole Adams (New Port Richey, Fla./Gulf HS), followed by the old-fashioned three-point play from Wells to give the Owls a 21-17 lead. Holliday then capped off the run with a three to put the score at 24-17 Kennesaw State with 8:27 remaining in the first half.

With just one made basket from Asheville after the big run, the Owls then put in eight more with back-to-back threes from Holliday and Mason and a jumper from Bria Young (Suwanee, Ga./Collins Hill HS) to make it 32-19 with just under four minutes to go. Young then added in her second three of the game moments later, sending the game into the half with a 39-24 KSU lead.

Asheville then busted out of the gates in the second half with a 6-0 run on three straight field goals before senior Sametria Gideon (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS) put the Owls on the board with a layup at the 16:01 mark, extending the Owl lead back to double-figures, 41-30.

The Bulldogs cut the lead down to six with under 10 minutes to go, but two free throws from Holliday and a basket from Wells put the Owls back up by 10, 53-43. Holliday then hit on her only three-pointer of the second half, putting KSU up by 12 as the Owls came away with the 62-71 win.

"I hope to see more of that from Ashley," added Perry. "She's playing out of position and did a terrific job. She had a hard defensive responsibility and stepped up on the offensive side of the court. She didn't force things and took the shots they gave her and dished out some assists."

Along with her offensive prowess, Holliday was also good for a game-high five assists in 39 minutes played.

On the boards, the Owls collected 36 rebounds, 25 defensive, with Gideon hauling in a team-high nine. Freshman Shadelly Guzman (Miami, Fla./Monsignor E. Pace HS) brought in six as did junior Christine Wylie (Ballarat, Australia/Ballarat HS), all defensive, to go along with her game-best two blocks.

"We were talking in the locker room about building for everyone to contribute," said Perry. "Christine knew she was going to come in and I told her to go as hard as she could go for a minute or two at a time and she did that for us."

Wylie set season-highs in rebounds, blocks and minutes played during the win.

The Owls will see their five-game road trip come to an end on Tuesday, Dec. 18, with the team's longest expedition of the year, heading nearly 1,000 miles to San Marcos, Texas, to take on the Bobcats of Texas State.

To keep up with the latest Kennesaw State women's basketball news follow the team on Twitter @KSUOwlNation and @KSUOwlsWBB or by liking Kennesaw State University on Facebook.