ATLANTA (JAN. 17) - Northeastern shot 55 percent in the first half to spark themselves to a 68-55 win over Georgia State Thursday night in women’s basketball at the GSU Sports Arena.
Listening to Georgia State head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener post-game, it was a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. The good was Northeastern’s first-half shooting as the No. 12 three-point shooting team knocked down 7 of their first 11 treys to build a 41-30 halftime lead. The bad and the ugly all belonged to Georgia State, who shot just 2-of-19 outside the 3-point arc, was outrebounded 38-31, and didn’t defend much all night according to the coach.
“We didn’t guard them all night and were especially lackadaisical in the first half,” coach Baldwin-Tener lamented post game. “We talked, we prepared, we practiced and then we just didn’t do any of that on the court. We had no intensity from start to finish and I am extremely disappointed in the overall effort. Obviously, Northeastern can shoot the ball as they have all year long and they did in the first half tonight. But, we did not play to win tonight.”
The stat sheet reflects some of the effort Coach Baldwin-Tener was speaking of. Georgia State, who entered No. 3 in the NCAA in 3-point defense (.237) was lit up by Northeastern’s outside shooters (7-of-12 in the first half alone). GSU, who was No. 43 in the NCAA in blocked shots (4.8) did not have a single one tonight for the only time this season. GSU, who was No. 19 in field goal defense at 33.8%, allowed 47.4% for the game. GSU, who was No. 44 in rebound advantage with a +6.4 average, was a -7 with a 31-38 disadvantage tonight. GSU, who has held eight of its 14 opponents to under 50 points this season, nearly gave up that many in the first half to Northeastern (41).
Northeastern (10-6, 3-2) was led by redshirt senior guard Kashaia Cannon who scored 21 points, including 16 of those in the first half with 4-of-6 3-point baskets. Cannon had her 20th point with 17:28 still to play in the game. Senior guard Deanna Kerkhof added 19 more points with 3-of-5 outside the arc. Center Jewel Tunstull contributed 14 points , nine rebounds and three blocks.
Georgia State (9-6, 1-3) got 14 points, six rebounds and three steals from senior center Cody Paulk. Sophomore guard Kayla Nolan added 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Northeastern grew an 11-9 advantage at 15:06 to a 25-11 lead at 10:35. GSU closed back to six and 27-21 23 at 7:16 and 30-23 at 6:34 when Northeastern made three straight 3-pointers to open a 39-23 lead at 5:05. The Huskies went to the locker room with a 41-30 halftime lead.
In the second half, GSU made its final challenge of the game, reducing the lead to seven points at 47-40 at 14:19 and 51-44 with 9:35 to go. But, Northeastern’s 8-0 run with a Kerkhof trey quickly made it 59-44 at 7:00.
A few sprinkles of positives for GSU was its13-of-15 free throws (86.7%) and 11 steals off 17 Northeastern turnovers.
Georgia State returns to action Sunday when it hosts James Madison at Noon in the Sports Arena.