|Career-High for Naburgs in Kennesaw|
Career-high 13 points for Joel Naburgs at Kennesaw State.
Courtesy: Jim Hogue Photos
Kennesaw, Ga. - Freshman Joel Naburgs (Victoria, Australia) was 5-for-10 including two 3-pointers for a career-high 13 points and A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) delivered his usual team-high scoring effort with 22, yet Stetson (5-16, 3-10) could not top off its second half surge with a win and fell 73-62 to Kennesaw State (11-12, 6-6) Monday night in Kennesaw, Georgia.
The Hatters suffered their fourth consecutive loss, a streak that includes a pair of defeats at the hands of the Owls in the past seven days. Kennesaw State increased its current winning streak to five games.
Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) was the third Hatter to hit double figures with 11 points. He was red hot in the second half hitting 4-of-7 including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Markeith Cummings led the Owls with 18 points, Curtis Woods added 16 for the home team.
After falling behind 32-19 at the half, Stetson came out strong and outscored KSU 43-41 in the second. As a team the Hatters hit 10-of-21 (47.6%) of its 3-point attempts and shot 41.0% from the field. Early long balls by Naburgs and Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla.) cut the lead to nine points with 17:17 on the clock.
For the next five minutes the play was even with each team answering the other's efforts. At 12:14 Naburgs canned another trey to get Stetson to within eight at 40-32. It was a deficit that would be matched three more times before KSU surged and established its dominance.
The Hatters turned the ball over just eight times in the game compared to 19 for the Owls. In the end the difference was rebounding. It seemed that for every bomb hit by Stetson, KSU would answer with a basket from the paint or a second-chance effort and quell a potential rally. The Owls finished with a 42-25 advantage under the glass. Matt Heramb was the game's top rebounder with 12, while Lohuis topped the Hatters with four.
Kennesaw State shot 51.1% (24-for-47) from the field and Stetson just 36.8% (25-of-68). Stetson's three-point shooting, which gave it a charge in the second half, was its Achilles heel in the first after a disappointing 10% (1-for-10).
As usual however, effort was not missing in Stetson's attack. The Hatters are a young team with competitive drive and tremendous potential. They have played hard all season and will continue to learn and grow with heads held high.
Next up is a return to the Edmunds Center to host Campbell on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and ETSU Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Stetson fans can see both games on Hatter Vision by going to www.gohatters.com. The voice of Stetson men's basketball Murray Miller will call the action with Harry "Chat Man" Arnold providing the color.