Saturday afternoon the Koalas traveled to take on NCAA Div. I opponenet Charleston Southern. It was an opportunity for the Koalas to showcase what they are capable of this year, since the game was broadcasted live on ESPN+. Coming into the game the CSU Buccaneers had a six game losing streak, and the Koalas were looking to extend it to seven.
Right out of the gate, CSU jumped out to a 9-0 lead, but was slowed down with two 3-pointers and and a mid-range jumper by Junior Jenesai Mohammed to bring the Koalas within 1. Strong defense and some hard fought rebounds by Sophomore Denijah Johnson found the Koalas within 4 points as the 1st quater was coming to a close. With only a few seconds on the clock, Freshman Jaida Hawes ran the ball up the court and drained a near half-court 3-pointer to end the quarter and walk away only trailing by 1. The second quarter had the Koalas on the ropes as CSU outscored the Koalas 21-12. The sharp shooting of Mohammed was put on hold with her getting into foul trouble early in the second.
All hope was not lost for the Koalas. Sophomore Denijah Johnson recorded her best game of the season. She finished the game with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals. In a game that seemed to have added some extra pressure on some players, Johnson remained unbothered and played better than she has all year. This performance is the sophomore's second double-double of the season. Even with this outstanding effort from Johnson the Koalas were never able to recover and walked away with another defeat. Final score for this match-up was 89-57.
Although she was in foul trouble the majority of the game, Mohammed was still able to contribute 12 points. And rounding off the top scorers was Junior Victoria Williams who had 14 points, 5 rebounds. Other contributors were Kinard, Morgan, and Hawes.
The Koalas head into a much needed winter break. They have two weeks off to rest, heal and prepare for the second half of the season. Their record currently sits at 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the conference. The Koalas return to action December 30th at Campbell University.