Richmond, Va. - Visiting Georgia State led host VCU at halftime, but the Rams opened the second half strong and then hung on to post a 75-70 Colonial Athletic Association win over GSU on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers shot 50% in the first half to open a 37-33 halftime lead. But, VCU burst out of the locker room on a 18-2 run over the first six minutes to open a 51-39 lead. GSU then outscored VCU 31-24 the remainder of the way, but the rally ran out of time. GSU narrowed it back to six points with 57 seconds left, but VCU made 4-8 free throws to seal the win.
The game included 10 lead changes and five ties.
Georgia State (6-14, 0-9) had four players in double figures today. Chan Harris scored 13 points (6-of-9 FG) and had eight rebounds. Freshman Miranda Smith had 12 points in a return to her home state. Center Cody Paulk added 10 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Kendra Long also added 10 points.
VCU (12-8, 5-4) was led by senior All-America forward Courtney Hurt. She scored 28 points (9-of-19 FG and 9-of-14 FT) to go with 20 rebounds. Hurt is number two in the NCAA in rebounding and No. 8 in scoring. Senior Andrea Barbour added 15 points.
Georgia State held a 39-38 rebound advantage today, including 11 offensive rebounds. Both teams had 21 rebounds, but Georgia State led with 14 steals and five blocked shots.
After shooting 50% in the first half, GSU slipped to 38.7% in the second half to finish at 44.3%. VCU hit 39% in the first half, but came back to shoot 53.6% in the second half to finish at 46.4%.
GSU made one more field goal (27-26), but VCU hit 20-of-30 free throws compared to 15-of-23 for GSU. Two players fouled out for Georgia State (Harris and Anderson). Both teams worked the ball inside, with GSU scoring 42 points in the paint and VCU 38 points.
"We didn't play the full 40 minutes and to win, you have to do that," said coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "We were aggressive in the first half on both ends of the court and that paid off. But, we came out lackadaisical in the second half and paid for that. We fought back the final 10-12 minutes of the second half, but it was too late. Hurt is an All-American and she played well again today."
Georgia State returns to Atlanta to host a game on Thursday night against CAA foe Northeastern.