Cullowhee, N.C. (Nov. 29) - Georgia State earned its first road win of the season with a 64-59 victory over Western Carolina Tuesday night.
GSU (2-3) got 17 points from sophomore guard Kendra Long to go with 13 points from junior center Cody Paulk and 12 points and eight rebounds from senior forward Chan Harris. The Panthers got to the free throw line a season-high 35 times, making 24.
Western Carolina (4-3) was led by 14 points from guard Rena Wakama and 12 more points from forward Janae' McKinney.
Georgia State scored the first basket of the game and actually never trailed during the game. GSU enjoyed its largest lead of the game at 14 points twice in the first half, the last at 23-9 with 6:13 before WCU closed the margin to 28-21 at the halftime break.
In the second half, GSU continually fought off the pesky Catamounts from the SoCon every time they got within a basket. GSU was leading 53-45 with 4:38, but a pair of treys by WCU cut it to 53-51 with 3:50 left. Long then swished her fourth three-point basket of the game to move the lead back to 56-51.
GSU's Ashley Watson made three of four free throws in the closing two minutes to help seal the win. Watson finished with nine points, including 7-of-10 free throws.
The visiting Panthers shot 58.8% in the second half (10-of-17), getting the ball inside for layups.
"We came out with a lot of energy at the start and finished with a strong effort down the finish," said coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "We showed aggressiveness by getting to the line 35 times, but we also got ourselves in foul trouble and had to played four guards a lot. Overall, we got it done on the road and that's good, but there are a lot of things I am not happy with, like the rebounding deficit."
The Panthers tried a new starting line-up this game, starting two freshmen (Nolan and Watson). GSU's defense held WCU to 29.6% shooting in the first half and 37.5% for the game.
Georgia State returns to action on Sunday when the Panthers host CAA rival Hofstra on Sunday afternoon.