ATLANTA (Dec. 14) -Chan Harris scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to spark Georgia State to a 65-59 win over Kennesaw State Wednesday night at the GSU Sports Arena.
GSU built a 15-point lead at 60-45 with five minutes to go and closed out the win in their return from a 10-day layoff for final exams.
Ten different players scored for GSU (3-4) in the win as the host Panthers used a high-energy defense to force 24 turnovers, make 19 steals and score 23 points off those turnovers.
Kennesaw State (3-6) was led by point guard Taylor Mills with 26 points, buoyed by seven three-point baskets.
"We are always happy to get a win because any win is a good win," said head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "But it was disappointing the way we started the game and I thought we would play a lot better after being fresh from time off. But, we will try to get better and move on to look for more wins. We know we can play better than we did tonight in executing our offense."
As the teams traded a few leads early on, Georgia State gained the lead for good at 25-24 and built a 33-24 advantage before KSU closed back to 35-32 at halftime.
The host Panthers started the second half with a 6-0 run to make it 41-32 as they held Kennesaw without a basket the first five minutes.
Perhaps the key run was when GSU grew a 48-44 lead at 10:18 into a 58-44 lead with a 10-0 run with 6:09 to go, then stretched that to 60-45 at 5:10.
What Coach Baldwin-Tener was addressing at the start was GSU coming out and allowing eight straight points in the first three minutes to fall behind 8-0. She called time out at 17:02 and substituted five new players into the game.
During the game, GSU used 11 players, with 10 of them playing double-digit minutes and no one player logging more than 26 minutes.
Junior guard Jerlisa Taylor added nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore guard Kendra Long contributed eight points with a pair of treys, while junior forward Nicole Hargraves also added eight more points to the offense. Freshmen Kayla Nolan and Miranda Smith each added seven points.
GSU upped the all-time series lead over Kennesaw to a perfect 4-0.
Georgia State will play host to crosstown rival Georgia Tech in the 35th meeting of the downtown schools on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena. The game will be broadcast live on WRAS-FM (88.5).