ATLANTA - Down 21 to visiting VCU, Georgia State outscored the Rams 41-19 in the second half to kickoff the 2017-18 home schedule with a 61-56 victory at the GSU Thanksgiving Classic Friday.

Three Panthers finished in double digits with Madison Newby and K.K. Williams leading the way with 15 points each. Kierra Henry totaled 13 points and also grabbed five rebounds and five assists. Arguably Newby's best moments of the game came in the final 60 seconds as she went 6-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the deal. As a team, Georgia State was an astounding 22-for-26 from the stripe.

Nothing was going Georgia State's way in the first half as the Panthers found themselves down 37-20 at the break. But GSU responded in the third quarter led by 10 points from Williams to make it a 51-44 game in favor of VCU heading into the final period. 

In the fourth quarter, Francesca Minali grabbed five of her eight rebounds as GSU held VCU to 13% shooting from the field to finish off the massive comeback. The 21-point rally is the biggest comeback for GSU since the Panthers overcame 23 points against Belmont on Nov. 27, 2013.

True freshman Deja Mitchell played some quality minutes Friday, picking up eight points and seven rebounds. Victoria Middlebrooks added four points to go with a pair of steals.

For the game, GSU outrebounded the Rams 36-33 and scored 26 points off 22 VCU turnovers. 

Up next for Georgia State is WKU on Sunday at 2 p.m. as the GSU Thanksgiving Classic continues at the GSU Sports Arena.