ATLANTA (Feb. 10) – Hofstra shot 50 percent overall and 50 percent outside the 3-point line in rolling to a 72-59 win over Georgia State Sunday afternoon in the GSU Sports Arena.
Hofstra (11-11, 7-4) kept their transition game alive with 21 assists, one shy of a season high, with 13 assists by point guard Andreana Thomas, which was one shy of the all-time school record. While Thomas was scoring (eight points) and making assists, the Pride was making 3-point shots, including a perfect 3-for-3 from Asia Jackson off the bench and a perfect 2-for-2 from forward Anma Onyeuku. Hofsta finished with 29-of-58 from the field and 8-of-16 from beyond the arc to tie their season most.
In the final two minutes of the game with Hofstra up by 13 points, senior forward Shane Evans got three lay-ups and six points to finish with 19 in the game and 11 rebounds. That last basket gave Evans an even 2,000 points and made her the 7th player in CAA history with 2,000 points. The league leader in double-double games, Evans has 64 in her career.
Georgia State (11-11, 3-8) couldn’t get the ball in the basket, starting 4-for-20 shooting and finishing 19-of-54 for 35 percent. The Panthers compounded the poor shooting with careless turnovers (22) that led to 26 Pride points.
GSU got a career-high 20 points from point guard Ashley Watson, while Kendra Long added 18 points with four 3-point baskets. Cody Paulk led in rebounding with 13 caroms to go with three blocked shots. Paulk leads the CAA with 58 and has 191 for her career now, seventh most in CAA history. Leading scorer Kayla Nolan played only 13 minutes (coach’s decision) and had just one free throw for one point on the day.
Hofstra jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead in two and a half minutes and GSU’s coach pulled all five starters. The five reserves chipped away and head the game back to 12-9 at 12:22. Then, Hofstra began taking advantage of the reserves with a 10-0 run that built a 22-9 lead with 9:41. Coach then put the five starters back in the game after sitting on the bench for almost 10 minutes.
Hofstra’s largest lead of the first half was 14 points, but GSU cut that down to 36-31 at halftime when Long drained a three-pointer with two seconds left.
The second half started much the same as the first, as Hofstra roared back with a 11-4 run to oper a 45-33 lead after the first five minutes. GSU cut it back to eight points at 47-39 with 13:34, but five quick Hofstra points opened it back to 13 points at 52-39.
GSU could only cut the lead back to 10 points several times, but never seriously threatened after the 52-39 lead.
“Disappointed is the first word that comes to mind,” said head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. “Our starting five did not come to play and weren’t ready at the start of either half. I have no idea why. Our defensive pressure certainly wasn’t good today with just five steals. Our shooting was terrible. Maybe I should say our free throw shooting was OK at 81%?”
“There were a few moments where we showed a little spark and effort,” coach added. “Hofstra is a good team, but they made some shots today they haven’t been normally making and that gave them confidence.”
This game also marked the Play4Kay breast cancer awareness day as the Panthers wore special pink uniforms that are being auctioned off for that charity. Pink t-shirts were sold during the day with all proceeds going to the charity as well.
Georgia State returns to action Thursday when it plays host of Towson at 7 p.m. in the Sports Arena.