And that's a cold shot, babyEarlier this week, it was cold enough in South Carolina that the entire state either saw sleet, freezing rain or snow on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, causing schools to close and delay openings for several days and a good number of accidents on state highways. Columbia picked up three inches of snow.
Yeah that's a drag
That's a cold shot, baby
We've let our love go bad
"Cold Shot" by Stevie Ray Vaughan
It also resulted in the postponement of several games including the Kennesaw State - USC Upstate game Thursday night because the Owls couldn't get out of Georgia due to the condition of the roads. Thus the game was rescheduled for Friday night at the Hodge Center, which allowed me to attend the game.
I left work at 5:00 PM and made the ninety plus minute trip from Columbia to Spartanburg. One of the interesting things about the Hodge Center is that they offer general admission as well as reserved seating, which is kind of unusual since the gym only holds 818. But if general admission is available, you can sit in the A section mid level for eight dollars. The only difference is that you are not sitting center court but on one of end of the court, which is no big deal. Throw in a over-buttery pretzel for two dollars and you have yourself a relatively inexpensive evening.
But the Owls responded with a 7-0 spurt. After a three point play by Nate Rucker, Yonel Brown assisted on an Orlando Coleman layup to give Kennesaw State a 13-10 lead with a little over twelve minutes left in the half. Brown, very generously listed at five foot nine, was serenaded by the Spartans' student section with a chant of "Little Boy" every time he touched the ball.
Willy Kouassi, a six foot ten sophomore forward who went scoreless in fourteen minutes of action in the first game between the teams, gave the Owls a much needed inside scoring presence. Over the span of about three and a half minutes, Kouassi would score eight points and assist on another basket. His jumper gave Kennesaw State a 24-22 lead at the under four minute media timeout.
The two teams combined to miss on all seventeen of their three point attempts in the first half. Thanks to Kouassi hitting on five of his first six field goal attempts, Kennesaw State shot thirty eight percent despite missing all seven of their shots beyond the arc. USC Upstate only shot thirty four percent and also missed on three of their seven free throws. Both teams had eleven field goals in the first half and the difference was two more free throws by the Owls.
But it would be the last field goal the Owls would make for the next five minutes as Myles Hamilton would do all their scoring with four free throws. Despite that, the Spartans couldn't take advantage. After a Jodd Maxey layup for USC Upstate, the game was tied at thirty five. Hamilton would finally end Kennesaw State's field goal drought with a layup to put the Owls back up 37-35. After Fred Miller gave the Spartans the lead back with a three pointer, Bernard Morena would respond with a basket and Kennesaw State had a 39-38 lead with ten minutes left.
USC Upstate got the ball back inside to Glenn, who was fouled and made two free throws. Then Craig got the crowd of six hundred plus into the game by burying another three pointer. Maxey followed with a jumper to put the Spartans up 45-39 and Kennesaw State called a thirty second timeout. Two Hamilton free throws stemmed the tide for a little bit as the Owls were only down four, 45-41.
But Glenn again was big, hitting a layup and one. His three point play extended the lead to seven 48-41. Four USC Upstate free throws later made the score 52-41. The Spartans had outscored the Owls 14-2 over the span of four and half minutes.
All that was left was whether Kennesaw State would actually hit a three pointer. Taylor Wozniak finally made one to make the score 57-46. But it was the only one the Owls hit on the day as they were an Antarctic one of fourteen from beyond the arc. USC Upstate would go onto win 65-48.
Kouassi, who hails from the Ivory Coast, also had a double double, leading the Owls with fifteen points and eleven rebounds. The career high fifteen points matched his output from his previous game, a loss to Florida Gulf Coast. Hamilton was the only other Owl in double figures with ten points. The Owls only shot thirty one percent from the field and were not exactly on fire from the line as they only made thirteen of their twenty one free throws.
Hopefully the warm front will mean warmer shooting at the Hodge Center.