The Georgia State Women’s Basketball team had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Appalachain State Mountaineers on Thursday February 20th at the Georgia State Sports Arena. The Panthers fell to the Mountaineers in overtime 64-59. Even though the Panthers got off to a hot start, out-scoring the Mountaineers 15-8 in the first quarter, it was the second quarter that really hurt the Panthers.
Georgia State was outscored 24-8 in the second quarter alone. Even though the Panthers came back to force overtime, Head Coach Gene Hill believes the second quarter was the difference in the game tonight.
“I felt like in the second period we kinda put ourselves in a hole there. When you talk about our fouls in the first half they made eight free throws, they had six points off second chances, and six points off turnovers so you’re talking about twenty points right there where you usually should be able to control that, and anytime you put yourself in a hole like that it’s tough when you assert that much energy to come back…” He said,
The Panthers did come back after the halftime break and had a much better second half overall. The Panthers went on an 8-0 in the third quarter which led to them tying the game in the fourth quarter. The team eventually took the lead for a brief moment in the final frame of regulation play. Freshman point guard Moriah Taylor provided a spark in the fourth quarter making three 3-point field goals in the fourth quarter alone. Coach Hill had this to say about Moriah’s fourth quarter performance.
“We wanted the game to come to her, but we know she has that type of potential. Moriah scored 2,000 points in high school. Moriah still hasn’t started playing to her capability. She still has more, and we need her out there because of her shooting power. When we’re making shots it helps open up things for us, and she’s not afraid. She’s not afraid to take that shot at a critical time.” Coach explained.
The Panthers undoubtedly suffered a tough loss in a game they were in a position to win. Excluding overtime, the Panthers won three of the four quarters. Even if the Panthers would’ve lost the second quarter by a close margin they still would’ve won the game. It’s safe to say Georgia State can’t have anymore quarters like that if they want to start a new winning streak, and there are no such things as moral victories but Coach Hill doesn’t consider this game wasn’t a complete wash by any means.
“There may be people who look at this and say it’s a moral victory because of our first outcome, and how bad the game was and then now losing in overtime but again we’re not trying to play horseshoes and hand grenades it’s not about being close. You gotta win, but obviously I think the thing we have to learn is that when we don’t beat ourselves, when we take care of the ball, when we defend, and we hold our opponent to one shot each time and when we take great shots we have a chance, and I think the second half was evident of that.”
Finally, the coach was asked what were the things that the team was doing that lead to the four-game winning streak, and Coach Hill had this to say. “It’s just the little things defending, rebounding, taking care of the ball, getting good shots…it’s about defense, and that’s something we’re trying to get them to understand and to buy in that if you defend and if you take great shots you’ll always have a chance, so I think they’re starting to figure that out…”
The Panthers will have a chance to bounce back Saturday afternoon as they will take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Tip-Off is set for 2pm in Atlanta, Georgia in the Georgia State Sports Arena, and you can watch the game on ESPN Plus.