NASHVILLE (Dec. 13) - Georgia State, who led the nation in 3-point field goal defense allowing 16 percent, ran into a red-hot Belmont team that made 9-of-15 3-pointers (60 percent). That was a major difference in Belmont's 85-62 win in a noon game at the Curb Event Center.
The game turned at the 14-minute mark. Belmont was holding a 48-45 lead when whistles started blowing frequently. GSU had four personals in about 50 seconds, plus a pair of technicals in a five-minute span on Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener that led to her ejection. That 48-45 lead grews to 62-45 at 9:22 with Molly Ernst hitting three consecutive three-point baskets for Belmont in its 17-0 run that lasted about five minutes.
An 11-day layoff for finals showed early for GSU as their pressure defense did not force a Belmont turnover until 13 minutes into the game. The Panthers, who came into the game shooting 43.3 percent, hit just 39.6 percent today. Ernest, who averaged 8 points a game coming in, scored 23 today with 7-of-10 three-point baskets today.
The loss ends Georgia State's four-game winning streak and drops the Panthers to 5-2 on the season. The win for Belmont followed its win over Indiana and ran its winning streak to three games.
Georgia State got 13 points and six rebounds from sophomore guard Kayla Nolan. Maryam Dogo added 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while junior guard Kendra Long added 10 more points.
The Panthers started with a 4-0 lead and the game was tied at 14-14 after seven minutes. A Belmont 12-0 scoring run gave the Bruins a 26-14 lead at 8:41. GSU closed to 37-31, but Belmont took a 42-31 lead into halftime.
In the second half, GSU came out stronger on defense and outscored Belmont 14-4 to make it 48-45 when the whistles helped Belmont gain a lot more momentum.
The game included 39 fouls, plus two technicals, with 53 free throw attempts combined. But, for all the calls, it was probably the non-calls that had Coach Baldwin-Tener agitated the most in her rare ejection during her 14-year career.
Georgia State held a 35-34 rebound advantage, but forced just 11 turnovers, almost half its normal average. GSU had eight steals and four blocked shots.
The Panthers will play host to Morehead State on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena. The game promotion includes a $3 ticket offer at the ticket office with any church bulletin. Parking is free and concessions are just $1.