Nassau, Bahamas (Dec. 19) - Georgia State shot 57.7% in the second half and 52.9% for the game in racing to a 79-68 win over High Point University in their opening game of the SunSplash Shootout Monday night at Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium.
The Panthers balanced scoring sheet had eight players score eight or more points, topped by 11 points in 13 minutes off the bench from junior guard Sade Means. Senior forward Chan Harris scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, made four steals, created four assists and had two blocks. Freshman center Alana Beroth, in just her second game as a Panther, scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds in 17 minutes. Center Cody Paulk had eight points, six boards and two blocks.
GSU (4-5) got started with a 12-0 run in the first half that helped them turn a 7-3 deficit into a 15-7 lead just over 10 minutes into the game. When High Point closed to 23-22 at 3:53, Georgia State had another 11-4 run to end the first half and take a 34-25 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, Georgia State had the final strong run with the score at 58-49 with 7:19 to play. At that point, GSU had another 11-0 run to open a 20-point lead at 69-49 with 5:09 left to play.
The Panthers of GSU held a 44-38 rebounding advantage with five different players having five or more rebounds tonight. GSU's defense had 10 steals and forced 21 High Point turnovers as they held those Panthers to 21.2% shooting in the first half and 29.7% for the game.
"I was pleased with our energy level tonight," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "Our defense was pretty solid tonight and we took it strong inside the paint tonight on offense. I think our roster being deeper really helped us as we got a lot of good things from a lot of people."
High Point entered the game with a RPI rating of No. 86 and these Panthers fall to 4-4 on the young season. Guard Erin Reynolds led them with 20 points.
GSU's 79 points were a season high and the fourth game with 70 or more points scored. They've won 21 of the last 23 games when scoring 70 or more. Tonight's game included 54 fouls whistled, with High Point shooting 38 free throws and Georgia State shooting 35 from the charity line.
Georgia State will meet Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in their second game of the SunSplash Shootout.