ATLANTA (Feb. 28) - Georgia State saw Drexel win its 20th game with a 58-49 decision Thursday in the last CAA game in the GSU Sports Arena.
The scrappy Panthers were leading 30-26 with 18:33 to play, but visiting Drexel caught fire from the outside and went on a 17-0 run to take a 43-30 with 13:36. GSU re-grouped to close back to five points at 47-42 with 5:47 and again at 50-45 with 4:30 left, but Drexel's Hollie Mershon finished off her 23-point night with a couple baskets to secure the 20th win for Drexel.
GSU seemed dominant at times and got off 14 more shots than Drexel (63-49), but shot just 19-of-63 on the night (30.2%). The Panthers banged the glass and held a 42-35 rebound advantage with 18 offensive rebounds and second chances. The hustling Panthers forced 13 turnovers and made eight steals against a team that is No. 5 in the nation in fewest turnovers. They even blocked four Dragon shots. But, it all came back to the poor shooting.
"The team had a lot of intensity and I liked that, but we didn't shoot the ball well enough to get the win tonight," said Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "There were a lot of easy ones in the paint we should have made, but at least we kept getting rebounds and trying. We wasted so many golden opportunities though. Cody Paulk and Maryam Dogo got the rebounds, but both shot less than 30% from close range."
Drexel, No. 13 in the NCAA rankings in fewest points allowed at 51.7, held a ninth straight opponent to 55 or fewer points. Tonight's game had five ties and five lead changes.
Georgia State (13-15, 5-12) got 15 points from junior guard Kendra Long, including 5-of-9 outside the arc. Sophomore forward Maryam Dogo had 13 rebounds and eight points, while senior center Cody Paulk pulled down 11 rebounds, scored 7 points, made 7 assists and blocked 2 shots.
Drexel (20-7, 13-3) was led by All-CAA guard Hollie Mershon, who had 23 points, six rebounds and three assists. Freshman Meghan Creighton added 12 points on 4-of-7 outside the arc. Guard Renee Johnson-Allen added 10 more points.
Drexel, who is No. 31 in the nation in 3-point percentage, found the range at a 45.5 rate outside the arc with 10-of-22, meaning they were only 9-of-27 on two-point shots. Drexel was 5-of-9 outside the arc in the second half, including four straight during their 14-0 run. The Dragons had made 26 consecutive free throws as a team over three games and added two to that tonight before a miss.
Georgia State returns to action Wednesday night at top-20 ranked Delaware.
- Cody Paulk added to her record block totals. She upped her season record to 74, which ties for 8th most in a season in CAA history. Her next one ties her for 7th. She upped her career total to 207, which leaves her one shy of moving into 5th place all-time in CAA history for career blocks.
- Kendra Long had 5 or more 3-point baskets in a game for the sixth time in her career (6 is her best). That ups her school-best career total to 163. It gives her 52 on the season, sixth best in a season in school history..
- Paulk's first basket of the evening pushed her past the 700 career total
- Dogo's 13 rebounds were a personal-best in her first year at GSU, as she had 11 rebounds in a game three times earlier this season.
- Paulk's 11 rebounds were her 12th double-figure rebounding game. Paulk's 7 assists were a career high.
- The Panthers finish 10-7 at home this season.