If any game could be categorized as must-win for the Panthers (11-13 overall, 7-5 conference), Monday’s match up against No. 2 Texas State (11-12 overall, 8-4 conference) would be that game.
Georgia State lost their last three games against last place UT Arlington (3-20 overall, 2-10 conference) No. 1 Arkansas State (16-9, 10-3 conference) and then-No. 5 Troy (9-14 overall, 5-7 conference).
However, in this game, the Panthers controlled the game from the opening whistle and only played from behind once.
Typically, guard redshirt-junior guard Alisha Andrews would be the one to set the tempo for Georgia State. However, in this game, it was senior guard Kendra Long who set the tempo.
Long scored five of the 14 points in the Panthers’ 14-9 run to start the game. By halftime, she was tied with sophomore forward Morgan Jackson as lead scorer, they both scored 10 points each.
“It’s about time the only senior stepped up to give us more than just a couple 3-pointers”, head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said to Georgia State Athletics. “She can drive the ball very well and we preach that to her to do it more, so I’m glad she got some reward for doing it tonight. Maybe I can get her to keep doing that.”
Unfortunately, the Panthers’ offensive intensity was matched by the Bobcats going into halftime. Georgia State went into the half tied 37-37 with Texas State.
However, Georgia State came back from the half and replicated their early first half intensity.
The only time Texas State had a lead was when the score was 42-41 with 16:56 left in the game.
However, Long took control of the game for the Panthers, she scored 17 points in the second half. She had 22 points with 3:36 remaining in the game when the score was 65-57.
The Panthers extended the lead to 79-66 with less than a minute left in the game. Meanwhile, Long got her career-high in scoring with 27 points.
“I was proud of the team for bouncing back quickly from Saturday’s game and being ready,” Baldwin-Tener said to Georgia State Athletics. “We got the lead and were able to extend it at the end tonight. We played to win and didn’t played scared with the lead.”
The Panthers won 82-69, snapping the Bobcats’ five game winning streak. Georgia State plays their next game at home against No. 7 Louisiana-Monroe, Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Panthers defeated the Warhawks 77-66 on Jan. 25 in Monroe, La.