ATLANTA – Three Panthers scored double figures led by Jada Lewis with 20 points to defeat rival Georgia Southern 73-66 on Senior Day at GSU Sports Arena Saturday.
With the win, Georgia State (17-12, 11-7 SBC) clinches the No. 4 seed at next week’s Sun Belt Conference Championship in New Orleans. The Panthers will play Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET against the winner of Game 3 between the No. 5 seed and the 8/9 seed.
The Panthers tied the GSU single-game record with 12 3-pointers in the contest. The team also set a new single-season GSU record with 177 3-pointers. The previous mark was 168 back in 2001-02.
Lewis’ 20 points came on 6-of-12 shooting. She was 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Seniors K.K. Williams and Kierra Henry finished with 15 points and 12 points, respectively. Walnatia Wright narrowly missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.
Despite GSU starting the game on fire from deep, the Eagles kept things close and only trailed 20-19 at the end of the first quarter. The Panthers pushed their lead to six going into halftime.
Georgia Southern scored the first nine points of the third quarter to take its only lead of the game. Georgia State trailed for only 2:34 before regaining the lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Georgia State’s lead was cut to two in the final minute, but some key free throws for Georgia Southern didn’t fall and the Panthers held on to win 73-66.
With the win, GSU secures a point in the GSU-GS Rivalry Series after sweeping the Eagles this season. Georgia State has now won seven in a row against Georgia Southern.
First-year head coach Gene Hill’s 17 wins is the most by a GSU women’s basketball coach in their first season since 1980-81. Hill, a candidate for Sun Belt Coach of the Year, led the Panthers from an 8-22 season a year ago to a 17-win season in 2018-19.
This season marks the most Sun Belt wins since joining the league prior to the 2013-14 season. It’s the most conference wins for GSU since 2004-05. Its the most overall wins since 2003-04.
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