PANTHERS AND HUSKIES MEET FOR LAST TIME
Georgia State (12-12) plays at Northeastern (13-10) in Boston on Thursday in their final meeting of this CAA series as GSU moves on to FBS for football in the Sun Belt in July, even though 10 of GSU’s sports are already competing in the Sun Belt. Both Georgia State and Northeastern had joined the CAA in 2005-06. The game will be broadcast live on WRAS-FM, beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the Coach's Show.
The Panthers are trying to stay above .500 as they have never been below the .500 mark this season. With 29 regular season games and no tournament games, the magic number for a winning season is three to get to 15 wins. GSU was 15-15 in 2009-10, as well as 2006-07.
Playing the Huskies at tiny Solomon Court is no easy task as Northeastern owns an 8-2 mark at home this year, losing only to Delaware and Drexel.
SHOOTING THE 3
Northeastern is one of the best teams in the nation with 188 3-point baskets made to rank No. 11 in the NCAA (8.2 per game) and No. 15 in shooting percentage beyond the arc (36.4%). The Huskies have knocked down 13 treys in a game three times this season. In the win over GSU in Atlanta this year, NU made 7 of its first 11 treys and finished the night with 8-of-22 in a 68-55 win. While not a 3-point shooting team, GSU has found the range this past week, making 10-of-23 (43.5%) Sunday and 9-for-17 (52.9%) in Thursday’s win for 19-of-40 last week (47.5%). GSU has made 96 on the year, NU has attempted 180 more 3-pointers on the season that GSU.
Individually, Cody Paulk leads the CAA and is No. 15 in the NCAA in blocked shots with 63 (2.63). Her 196 leave her 4 shy of becoming the 7th player in CAA history to record 200 blocks. She needs four blocks to tie the school record of 67 blocks set by Marcquitta Head in 2006-07.
Junior guard Kendra Long has made 151 3-point baskets in her three years, needing just 3 more to tie the school career mark of Kelcey Roegiers Jensen (2003-07).
Sophomore Ashley Watson is shooting 85.5% from the free throw line (No. 31 NCAA). 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.
GEORGIA STATE-NORTHEASTERN SERIES HISTORY
NU now leads the series, 12-6, after winning in Atlanta, 68-55. The teams have split in each of the past two seasons. Northeastern twice eliminated GSU in the opening game of a CAA Tournament.With GSU leaving for football at the FBS level in the Sun Belt, this year will be the last in this series.
A QUICK LOOK AT NORTHEASTERN
Located in central city Boston, the Huskies are under coach Danyia La-Force for a seventh season. The home court is in Cabot Center, a building built almost 60 years ago in 1954. It sits on the ground of the former Huntington Avenue Grounds, where the first-ever World Series was played in 1903 between the Boston Americans (now Red Sox) and Pittsburgh Pirates. A statue of one of Boston’s players on that team stands outside the Cabot door, a statue of a pitcher named Cy Young.
The Huskies are a good defensive team with 10.5 steals per game to rank No. 2 in the CAA (59 NCAA) and they pass well with 13.5 assists per game. Their 66.3 points per game rank No. 3 in the CAA. Kaishaia Cannon has 63 treys (No. 23 NCAA), one more than Deanna Kerkhof’s 62 (No.31 NCAA). Six-foot-three Jewel Tunstull averages 12 points a game down low and grabs almost nine rebounds a game.
THE 4-Game, 8-Day GRIND
GSU now embarks on the CAA’s four games in eight-day grind for the student-athletes.
For GSU, that means missing some classes on Wednesday to fly 1100 miles to Boston. They’ll take an academic advisor to help with study hall and all the missed classes Thursday.
After the 7 p.m. tip, GSU returns to the hotel, only to have a 3:30 a.m.wake- up call to get to airport to catch the 6 a.m. flight for the 1100 mile trip back to Atlanta and try to get the worn-out students to class on Friday. Perhaps they’ll try a practice or film study on Friday to review that game and get ready for the next.
On Saturday, it will be catch-up homework and a practice for Sunday’s game. Sunday is the Senior Day ceremonies for the two seniors.
On Monday, it is a little more class and missed classes to depart for the 600-mile trip to Williamsburg and a practice. On Tuesday, it’s more homework and tutoring in the hotel for the Tuesday night game.
On Wednesday, it’s the 5:30 wake-up to catch the 7:45 a.m. flight for the 600 miles back home to try to get to more classes and more practice.
On Thursday, GSU plays host to Drexel at 7 p.m. after the classes and the shootaround.