PANTHERS FINISH SEASON, CAA ERA WEDNESDAY
Georgia State plays its final game of the season since it is not eligible by the CAA specific rule for the conference tournament (as is ODU) for departing teams. It will also be the final CAA game since GSU has opted to move up to FBS-level for football (as is ODU) from the FCS current level of the CAA. As always, the game will be broadcast live on the 100,000-watt flagship station (WRAS-FM, 88.5) radio with Wade Smith. The game is sold out (5,000).
Individually, Cody Paulk leads the CAA and is No. 14 in the NCAA in blocked shots with 74 (2.6). Her 207 make her just the 7th player in CAA history to record 200 blocks.She moved into 6th place in CAA history and needs one more to slip into 5th place all-time. She has broken the school record of 67 blocks set by Marcquitta Head in 2006-07.
Junior guard Kendra Long has made 163 3-point baskets in her three years, surpassing the school career mark of 154 by Kelcey Roegiers Jensen (2003-07).
Sophomore Ashley Watson is shooting 86.8% from the free throw line. Only three have ever topped 85% in a season before, with Marica Maddox hitting 87.4% in 1999-2000 and hitting 86.1% in 2001-02. Watson is currently No. 22 in the NCAA.
DELLE DONNE AND DELAWARE’S IMPRESSIVE STATS
Elena Delle Donne is finishing up one of the remarkable careers in NCAA history and Delaware is the benificary. The 6-foot-5 star missed six of the first seven games of the season and returned weak from her battle with Lyme Disease on Dec. 20 against No. 9 Maryland. The Blue Hens lost that day, but have rolled off 21 straight wins since. That is the third longest in the NCAA, behind Baylor’s active streak of 26 and Notre Dame’s of 22. Delaware has also won 36 consecutive CAA games.
Delle Donne is second in the NCAA in scoring (25.6) and fourth in free throw shooting (92.2%). She is closing in on 3,000 points (2,846 in just 107 games), a mark only five other have ever reached. And, she has done it in fewer games. For example, Maya Moore reached 3,036 points in 154 games, 48 more than Delle Donne. Brittany Greiner of Baylor is up to 3,073 in 141 games, 34 more than Delle Donne.
This game will mark Delaware’s fifth sellout this year in their 5,000-seat home arena.
GEORGIA STATE-DELAWARE SERIES HISTORY
After 10 meetings since Georgia State joined the CAA in 2005-06, the Blue Hens lead, 8-2.
Delaware has won all 4 in the Delle Donne era, edging GSU 68-65 in 2009-10 in Newark, claiming a 50-46 win in Atlanta in 2010-11 winning in Atlanta last year, 94-56, and winning this year, 70-38. GSU led at the half in the 2010-11 game. The Panthers had a chance to tie in 2010 and missed an unguarded lay-up with two seconds left.
GSU won in Atlanta on Feb. 11, 2009 by seven points (55-48) and at Delaware on Feb. 28. 2008 by 12 points (58-46).
A QUICK LOOK AT DELAWARE
Located in Newark, Del., the university is the state’s flagship school with its 16,000 students. The school is about 45 miles south of Philadelphia and 60 miles north of Baltimore.
Veteran coach Tina Martin is in her 17th year at the school and has had 10, 20-win seasons. They’ve made 3 NCAA appearances.
This is a huge year for Delaware as they returned all five starters and have five seniors. Only junior Akeema Richards returns next year among the top six players with the most minutes.
Delaware claims the current Vice-President, Joe Biden, among its legion of alumni. UD’s original class in the 1700’s included three signers of the Declaration of Independence. QB Joe Flacco is starting for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
GSU has held a rebound advantage in 17 of its 28 games this year, with one tie.
The Panthers have 1,119 rebounds to the opponents 1,061 for a +58 (+2.1) per game.
GSU also has 394 offensive rebounds, an average of 14 per game.
DEFENSE HAS BEEN KEY TO GEORGIA STATE WINS
Georgia State’s 13-15 record is primarily a credit to the defensive efforts. This season is only the seventh time of the Panthers’ 38-season history that they had started by winning 8 of its first 10 games.
GSU’s defense has held 12 opponents under 52 points this season and allow just 61 points a game despite forcing an up-tempo, fast-paced game.
If one wants to know primarily why GSU is winning, just look at the national NCAA rankings of the 345 Division I teams and one will see the impact the Panthers’ aggressiveness is having:
• No 85 in the NCAA in all field goal defense (.369)
• No. 106 in the NCAA in 3-point field goal defense (.282)
• No. 106 in the NCAA in blocked shots per game (3.8)
• No. 112 in the NCAA in rebound margin (+1.9)
• No. 128 in the NCAA in steals per game (9.3)
• No. 155 in fewest points allowed (61)