ATLANTA- Walnatia Wright scored a career-high 18 points and blocked the potential game-winning shot in regulation as Georgia State overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Kennesaw State 79-73 in overtime on Thursday at the GSU Sports Arena.
Jada Lewis led five Panthers in double figures with 19 points. K.K. Williams scored 12, Kierra Henry had 10 and Allison Johnson had eight boards to go along with 10 points, including a three-point play to seal with win for Georgia State (4-3) in overtime.
Wright, whose previous career-high was 15 points, set in the season opener against UNCG, also pulled down nine rebounds as the Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Owls (3-7) started fast, jumping out to an early 10-2 lead. But the Panthers’ defense amped up, forcing six Kennesaw State turnovers, as they chipped away at the deficit to trail by just three at the end of the first quarter. Georgia State took the lead on a Williams three-pointer with four minutes left in the second, but Kennesaw State finished the half on an 11-5 run to go up by five heading into the break.
Kennesaw State came out of halftime strong, pressuring the Panthers with full-court press and capitalizing with an early 10-2 run. But Georgia State battled back as Lewis, who was held to just two points in the first half, hit a pair of three-pointers and led a fast break ending in a one-handed dish to Janessa Murphy, who layed it in to cut the deficit back to single digits. The Panthers trailed by just three heading into the fourth after finishing the third quarter on an 11-4 run, while shooting sixty-three percent from the field.
Madison Ervin hit a three to tie the game at 65 with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. After a miss by the Owls, Lewis was fouled going to the basket and hit both free-throws to give the Panthers a two-point lead. Amani Johnson layed the ball in for Kennesaw State on its next possession to tie the game again with 42.8 left. Wright was fouled on the next possession, but missed both free-throws. But she recovered quickly when, on the last possession of regulation, Wright blocked Simina Avram's shot to force overtime.
Johnson broke the tie in OT with a three-point play and Lewis’s layup sealed the win for Georgia State.
The Panthers are now 6-1 at home against the Owls and lead the all-time series 9-2.
Georgia State hits the road for its next game against Jacksonville State on Dec. 15 at 3:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN+.