Hempstead, NY - Georgia State came from 17 points down and had the ball with 11 seconds and the chance to win, but misfired on its final attempt and lost a 64-63 decision to Hofstra Thursday.
Trailing 64-53 with 5:11 to play, GSU shut down Hofstra without another point and continued to close the gap on offense. Kayla Nolan scored with 1:40 left and there was plenty of time.
With 1:00 on the clock and with the ball under their basket to go ahead, GSU threw the ball away.
A defensive stop gave GSU another chance with 39 seconds left, but a backdoor layup was blocked without a foul by Shante Evans.
When Annie Payton missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 16.1 seconds, GSU had yet another chance.
With 11 seconds left, GSU had the ball in front of its bench and basket with the chance to pull off the win. But, a delayed offense ended up in a long shot by Ashley Watson that bounced off the side of the rim.
The one-point margin made all the more important the buzzer beating 3-point shot at the end of the first half by Hofstra's Andreana Thomas that was reviewed and counted to break a tie and give Hofstra a 34-31 lead at the break. Those three points obviously loomed large later. There had been seven lead changes and four ties in the back-and-forth first half.
Hofstra started the second half with a 13-0 run to build the lead to 47-31 at 16:46. The Pride (6-7, 2-0 and on a five-game win streak) took advantage with Evans in the paint when Paulk had to sit for a few minutes with a sprained ankle. Hofstra had its largest lead of 51-34 at 12:23.
Georgia State (8-5, 0-2) controlled the boards with a 47-40 rebound advantage, including 18 offensive boards. GSU hurt itself by making just 12-of-20 free throws (60%) and missing front ends of one-and-one situations.
Cody Paulk led GSU with 14 points, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks in her 32 minutes. But, the minutes she was out with the ankle sprain was crucial during that 13-0 Pride run with Evans scoring down low. Sophomore guard Ashley Watson and freshman guard Gaby Moss each scored 11 points, while sophomore guard Kayla Nolan added 10 more points.
All-America power forward Shante Evans had 18 points and 8 rebounds for Hofstra, but was four points shy of breaking the school career record. Annie Payton added 16 points, 14 of them in the first half. Andreana Thomas had 11 points and 10 assists.
GSU forced 21 Hofstra turnovers and made 11 steals to go with three blocks. Hofstra, who leads the CAA in steals, had 10 this evening and forced 20 GSU turnovers. Both teams capitalized on the takeaways, with GSU scoring 22 points off turnovers and Hofstra 20 points.
"I guess I can be pleased that we didn't quit and came back to give ourselves the chance to win, but I am disappointed at the start of the second half and with our decision-making, especially on the last possession," coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "And, we missed too many free throws."
"It is tough to win on the road and Hofstra is hot right now with a winning streak, so give them the credit they deserve," Baldwin-Tener added.
GSU continues on the road trip with a game at Towson on Sunday afternoon.
- GSU has had chances to beat three hot teams, but only come close in this three-game losing skid. GSU led Toledo (12-1, 22 RPI) for more than 20 minutes. GSU had ODU (11-2=3, 2-0) down by 20 in the second half but didn't close the deal. GSU battled through lead changes last night and had its turn for a rally win with three late shots that could have given them the lead against Hofstra, who won its fifth straight.
- GSU's 47-40 rebound advantage made it 11 times in the 13 games that the Panthers have had a rebound lead over their opponents. GSU is a +7 on the season in this category.
- With 11 steals, this was the 9th time in the 13 games that GSU has had double figures. GSU averages 10.5 a game.
- After topping 70% from the free throw line in two of the last three games, the 60% on 12-of-20 hurt in the loss tonight.
- Cody Paulk had her 5th double-figure scoring game of the season and it was a season-high 14 points. She's had 23 career double-figure games.
- With 2 more blocks, Paulk still leads the CAA with 37 this year and upped her school record career total to 170 blocks.
- Paulk's 5 steals give her back-to-back 5-steal games as she now leads the team in that category with 28.
- Freshman Gaby Moss had her second double-figure game, scoring 11 points tonight to top her 10 points four games ago. She also had 2 assists in her 21 minutes and made two 3-point baskets.
- Miranda Smith had a personal-best high 6-rebound game tonight.
- Ashley Watson had her fourth double-figure game of the season with 11 points, while adding 4 assists to up her team-best season total to 41.
- Kendra Long had a season-best 8 rebounds.
- Freshman Morgan Jackson added 5 rebounds, her third game with 5 or more this season and give her 30 on the year.
- Freshman Ashlee Cole was 1-for-1 outside the arc to give her 13 3-pointers on the season, second only to Long's 20.
- Kayla Nolan battled through her illness to score 10 points for her 10th double-figure game of the season as she leads the team with her 11-point per game average.