Jacksonville University men's basketball fell behind early, and could not keep up with Kennesaw State Saturday, losing 78-54 at the KSU Convocation Center.
"I do think it starts with effort," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "We did not play very well at all. It's disappointing."
The game started with a technical free throw due to Kennesaw State making a change in the starting lineup after it was incorrectly entered into the book. JD Notae could not convert, however, and Kennesaw State won the tip and started the scoring with an offensive rebound and stick back, setting the tone early.
Antwon Clayton then picked up his second foul just 1:25 into the game and went to the bench. JU tied it twice in the first few minutes, and then cut it to three, 13-10, on a Cody Helgeland triple with 13:20 left. Kennesaw State proceeded to rattle off a 9-0 run to build the lead to double-figures for the first time.
By halftime, KSU led by 18, 43-25, and JU had been limited to just 35 percent shooting from the field.
The second half started with a tip-in from Clayton, who played just three minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but Kennesaw State quickly extended the lead to over 20.
"The biggest focus for us is figuring out what we need to do to get back to being hard-playing, kind of grimy, blue collar guys," said Jasick.
Jacksonville returns to Swisher Gym for its final three games of the regular season, starting with NJIT on Thursday at 7 p.m.
"We've got three home games," said Jasick. "I still feel like if we can get a couple of these we'll be in a good spot heading into the conference tournament."