ATLANTA - Georgia State's formula for getting a 79-50 win over Jacksonville State was the same as it had been last week in getting a season opening road win: start fast and strike quickly.
Ignited by a 13-2 burst to start the game in the first five and a half minutes, GSU built that to 20-5 at 13:37 and up to 30-10 at 9:02 and the path to victory was established. That was similar to the 17-3 start last week in the win at UCF.
Tonight, GSU used its aggressive defense to force 25 JSU turnovers, made 14 steals, held JSU to 26.9 percent shooting and blocked five shots.
Georgia State (2-1) had three players in double figures, led by sophomore guard Kayla Nolan's 14 points. Freshman guard Ashlee Cole added 11 points and junior guard Kendra Long netted 10 more. On defense, sophomore Maryam Dogo pulled down 11 rebounds to go with eight points, while senior center Cody Paulk hauled down 10 rebounds. The Panthers' five-player bench provided 38 points and 21 rebounds.
JSU (0-2) got an impressive 15 points and 19 rebounds from forward Briana Morrow, plus 10 points from Marikate Gardler.
The Panthers fast start kept the lead in double figures after the first five minutes as GSU led by 15 points, 43-28 at halftime.
In the second half, GSU extended the lead to its zenith of 31 points at 74-43 with 4:46 to play and matched that several more times.
"I thought we started the game with a lot of energy on defense tonight and made it hard for them to get many good shots," coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "We swarmed and forced turnovers. We have talked about getting good starts so we can play the way we like and not have to be coming from behind. Our team will be a better team if we can have the balanced scoring like we got tonight from all the players."
Georgia State has a week to get ready for its Thanksgiving Holiday Tournament next Friday and Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena.