KENNESAW, Ga. - Georgia State posted a 60-54 win over Kennesaw State as senior guard Kendra Long scored her 1,000th career point with 41.3 seconds left on a pair of key free throws.
Georgia State, winners of three of its last four games, led most of the way but could never really put the Owls away. GSU was up by eight with 6:28 to play (45-37) but could never get the lead into double figures. Kennesaw made three 3-point baskets from that point and closed to 58-54 with 42.9 seconds. KSU quickly fouled Long to send her to the line for a 1-and-1 free throw situation and she swished them both for her 12th point of the game and 1,000th of her career.
GSU's cool shooting forced it to rely on a defense that forced 21 turnovers and made 12 steals. The Panthers hit 25.8 percent in the first half, 8-for-31 and missed 10 lay-ups. But, in the second half, GSU hit 53.3% on 16 of 30 to stay on top. GSU cashed in with 9-of-12 free throws.
Freshman Haley Gerrin scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked two shots and made two steals in filling in for the injured starting center. Gaby Moss came on the second half to score all of her 13 points, including a big 3-pointer with 57 seconds left to make it 58-51.Moss, the Sun Belt's leading 3-point shooter at 50% on the year, knocked down 2-of-3 tonight. Moss scored seven straight points in a minute run from 9:13 to 8:10.
"I'm proud of the kids for coming away with three wins in the four games and playing their hearts out against Georgia, so I know they are tired," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "I told the kids in the first half to stop pressing and just relax and play basketball because we counted 10 missed lay-ups in the first half. I'm certainly not happy with the offensive rebounding we allowed, but we got 14 of our own offensive. We shot a lot better in the second half and the team closed it out tonight after giving away a couple games earlier in the season. We have a lot to work on but we can do that with some satisfaction of some wins."
Kennesaw State (1-6) got 16 points from freshman Deandra Sawyers and 11 rebounds and eight points from Kristina Wells.
Georgia State remains unbeaten in the all-time series with Kennesaw State, now holding a 6-0 series lead.
Georgia State (3-6) gets a couple days off before leaving Saturday for the next game at Kent State in Ohio.
- Long becomes the 21st GSU player to ever score 1,000 points, following Chan Harris who did so during the 2011-12 season.
- Long made 6-for-6 from the free throw line for a second consecutive game and has made her last 14 in a row over three games. For the season, Long is 85% from the line with 34-of-40 made.
- Freshman Haley Gerrin had a 14-point, 7-rebound night just two games after a 23-point, 9-rebound evening.
- Gaby Moss is leading the Sun Belt with 52% outside the 3-point line on 13-of-25 3-point attempts.
- GSU has been shooting better than 70% as a team from the free throw line most of the season (121-of-171, 70.8%).
- GSU is up to 82 steals on the season, 9.1 per game now.
- The Panthers' 41-point second half marked a fourth half this season with 40 or more points scored.
- The 54 points allowed represents a season-low by the Panther defense.
- Georgia State will be on the road and in final exams all of December and not return for a home game until New Year's Day, Jan. 1.
- Alisha Andrews had 5 more assists to keep her per game average over 5 (47 in 9 games). She could have had more if not for the missed layups in this game.