What you need to know:
* Georgia State opened the season with a 68-50 win at Morehead State Friday night in Morehead, Ky.
* The Panthers forced 26 turnovers and outrebounded the Eagles 51-40.
* GSU is back in action Saturday at 6 p.m. in a neutral-site matchup with Eastern Michigan.
MOREHEAD, Ky. - Behind 19 steals and 22 points off turnovers, Georgia State’s women’s basketball team defeated Morehead State 68-50 Friday night to kick off the 2016-17 season. Sophomores Madison Newby and Astaja Tyghter led the team with 13 points each.
The Panthers used 26 turnovers by Morehead State to control the flow of the game. Senior Tatianna Jackson recorded six of the team’s 19 steals to go with her 10 points. GSU outrebounded the Eagles 51-40 as newcomer Tiffany Holston leading the way with 10 boards. Tyghter and Newby each finished with eight rebounds.
“Defensively, we were really good. Our energy on the court and pressure on the ball was great,” head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “On offense, I thought we were aggressive and did a good job of keeping Morehead State on their toes and getting to the free throw line.”
The Panthers jumped out to an 9-0 lead and led 17-10 after the first quarter. Morehead State pulled ahead 18-17 in the second quarter, but GSU responded with an 11-2 run to close out the half. That 1:23 in the second quarter would be the only time in the contest that GSU would trail. The Panthers used 40 second-half points to pull away and win by 18.
Friday’s win ended a two-game losing streak versus Morehead State as the two sides have met each of the last three seasons. The Eagles won 99-90 last year in a game that had a different pace than this year’s meeting.
“To hold them to 50 on their home court is something we are happy about. They like to score a lot and our defense was able to slow them down,” Baldwin-Tener said.
For the third straight year, Georgia State opened the season with a win and Baldwin-Tener improves to 4-3 in season openers are GSU.
Georgia State plays Saturday at 6 p.m. against Eastern Michigan to wrap up the Donna Murphy Classic hosted by Morehead State.
“We have to turn around and play again in in 24 hours. We went really hard tonight so we have to dig deep tomorrow and depend on some different people,” Baldwin-Tener said.
Following this weekend’s games, the Panthers return to Atlanta for three straight home games beginning with Allen (S.C.) on Nov. 16 in the GSU Sports Arena.Follow along with Georgia State on Twitter (@GSU_WBB) for the latest news.