DeLAND, FLA. - Georgia State put up 19 points in overtime to hand Stetson a rare non-conference home defeat 80-72 Monday at Edmunds Center.
GSU (5-4) ended a Stetson streak of 27 consecutive non-conference wins at home where they had a 61-6 overall home record in its last 67 games. Stetson had won its last five games overall this season and had won 11 straight games in its long-running Hatter Classic.
The see-saw game had 12 ties and nine lead changes. GSU led much of the second half before host Stetson regained the lead at 60-55 with 2:44 left. GSU responded and Ponder hit a trey to give GSU a 61-60 lead with 54 seconds. Stetson's Brianti Saunders made 1 of 2 free throws at 30 seconds to tie at 61. Neither team scored in the final 30 seconds and it headed to OT.
In OT, Stetson edged ahead 67-65 when Ponder lit up the nets again with a trey to make it 68-67 and give GSU a lead it would never lose. Alaysia Mitchell converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and then another lay-up as GSU began to pull away. GSU had it up to 11 points before Stetson swished a trey at the game's final buzzer.
Sophomore Makeba Ponder's 7th career 20-point game was a career-best 26 point day. She hit 6-of-12 3-pointers, one shy of her freshman best game of seven. Ponder was named the 28th annual Stetson Hatter Classic Most Valuable Player with 40 points in two games.
Alaysia Mitchell was All-Classic with 15 points today on 6-of-9 shooting after 17 points in Sunday's win. Orlando native Astaja Tyghter had 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals as her family and friends cheered her on loudly. Freshman Madison Newby stepped up with 12 assists today as GSU had 21 total in sharing the ball with one another. Haley Gerrin came off the bench to add eight more rebounds.
Georgia State's switching defenses caused Stetson problems as the visiting Panthers forced 20 turnovers and made 10 steals today.
"I am proud of this team's fight," coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "They made plays when they had to, they got some key stops when they had to and that is what winning teams do. This is probably one of our better wins recently as Stetson is really tough here at their place and a perennial 20-win program. I think coaches and players llike competing in challenging games like this and it makes it fun when you come out on the right side. The team has worked hard coming off the final exam break and getting two wins shows how they prepared. Now we will get ready for the tough 20 Sun Belt Conference games that start on Dec. 30."
Stetson had four players in double figures, led by Brianti Saunders with 17 to go with Breana Bey's 17 rebounds. Today's game included 17 3-point baskets (nine by GSU and eight by Stetson).
This was the 48th meeting between a pair of former conference rivals with GSU now owning a 25-23 lead. GSU improved to 10-13 in the Edmunds Center.
Georgia State has won four of its last five games to take into Sun Belt Conference play next Wednesday at UT Arlington.