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Atwater leads Eagles with dominant performance over KSU

Kaneisha Atwater sits with son  Andarious, 3, after Saturday night's game against Kennesaw State. (EN Photo / Kelli Krebs)
Kaneisha Atwater sits with son Andarious, 3, after Saturday night’s game against Kennesaw State. (EN Photo / Kelli Krebs)

The Florida Gulf Coast University’s women’s basketball team has extended its winning streak to 13 games after defeating Kennesaw State University, 61-47 Saturday night. Not only did Kaneisha Atwater put up 32 points, the Eagles made 10 3-pointers to put away any chance of the Owls winning.

While the momentum was slow to build, solid defense, steals, and in-rhythm shots were in no short supply. Girls came off the bench ready to play, halfway through the first and the Eagles had found their rhythm. Kaniesha Atwater got hot, the lid was opened and it began to rain threes.

“She was aggressive attacking the basket,” said coach Karl Smesko. “She saved us a few times getting to the rim when our offense was a little stagnant. Kaneisha’s activity was huge today. We’re really proud of the way she played for sure. She’s had a great season thus far, she’s just been a great player on both ends of the floor for us.”

Kaneisha was two points from breaking not only her personal career high, but the FGCU D-I record of most points scored in a game.

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“I’ve been struggling shooting the ball for awhile now and I lost confidence in my shot. When the first one went in (tonight) it felt good, and I tried it again and it felt good,” said Atwater. “I was hot so I wanted to shoot a little more. They were trying to take away my drives and [KSU’s Jasmine McAllister] wasn’t really guarding me.”

Entering the second half at 38-24, the Eagles were out to finish the game stronger than it had begun. Threes continued to fall and the Owls continued to turn the ball over. The Eagles ended the game shooting 43.5 percent from the 3-point line. Atwater racked up the points, and the Eagles got into the heads of their opponents.

FGCU is now tied with Florida State University for the most wins of any Florida D-I school. The Eagles will be playing at Lipscomb on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

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