ATLANTA--Kendra Long scored 19 points to lead four Georgia State players in double figures as the Panthers earned an 81-74 victory over Northeastern in a Colonial Athletic Association game Thursday at the GSU Sports Arena.
Freshman Miranda Smith (15 points) and junior Tiffany Anderson (14 points) enjoyed personal-best scoring nights, while senior Chan Harris chipped in 14 points, including the 1,000th point of her career. Harris also pulled down 10 rebounds, and Anderson added eight boards. Point guard Jerlisa Taylor added seven assists, six points and a pair of steals.
Georgia State earned its first CAA victory of the season to improve to 7-14, 1-9 CAA, while Northeastern fell to 4-17, 2-8 CAA. GSU was 6-5 in non-conference games, but started CAA play with the nine losses, including the last eight straight games.
The game featured two teams with opposite modes of attack. Northeastern leads the CAA and was No. 19 in the country in three-point shooting. Tonight, the Huskies did that with 10-of-30 three-point baskets. Georgia State attacks inside and often. Tonight, the Panthers did that to control the game with 38 points in the paint, with a 42-30 rebound advantage, with 18 offensive rebounds, with 22 second-chance points and got themselves to the free throw line 30 times, making 22, as a result of attacking down the lane.
The Panthers' 81 points were a season-best by two points, a 79-68 win over High Point. The 10 turnovers were a season-low total by two as well.
Tonight's deciding run came with the Panthers leading 61-60 at 7:07 after a basket by NU's Deanna Kerkhof. GSU then scored eight straight and kept NU scoreless for for almost four minutes until free throws by Kerkhof at 3:13 got points on the board for the visitors. GSU build its largest lead of the night at 73-62 with 2:47 to play.
"Number one, I am just happy to finally get a conference win," said head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "We took much better care of the basketball, we had balanced scoring and attacked the basket to both score and to rebound. Believe it or not, we tried to stop their three-point shooting, but they are pretty good up and down their roster at that. Rebounds were a big key and helped us get transition baskets. But, we still made a lot of errors that we will have to work on correcting. It was nice that Chan was able to get her 1,000th point here at home in front of family and friends."
The first half saw the teams trade the lead 14 times and be tied six times. NU held its largest lead of the game at 30-25 at 5:29 when the Panthers responded to finish the first half with a 14-7 run and take a 39-37 lead into the locker room.
GSU led for the first 10 minutes of the second half before a lay-up by Turnstull put NU up 56-55 at 9:40. GSU got the lead back on a Tiffany Anderson rebound and follow with 8:04 to gain a 59-58 lead and the Panthers never trailed again.
The Panthers, who lead the CAA in blocked shots with 105 (5.3), added five more tonight to up that to 110. Cody Paulk had three of those tonight.
Georgia State returns to action on Sunday in Baltimore when they face CAA rival Towson.