BOSTON (Feb. 21) - Northeastern used a 14-2 run to start the second half to turn a 27-24 halftime lead into a 41-26 lead and go on to a 65-50 win over Georgia State on Thursday night at Solomon Court.
Ashley Watson scored 12 points and Kendra Long added 10 more to pace GSU (12-13, 4-10) on a cold-shooting evening (19-of-55, 34.5%). The Panthers were just 4-of-20 outside the 3-point line (20%).
In the first half, the score was tied six times with five lead changes.
Northeastern (14-10, 7-6), who leads the CAA and is No. 11 in the NCAA with 8.2 3-point baskets a game, hit its average tonight with 8 treys. Kashaia Cannon led the way with 5-of-7 outside the arc and 18 points. Jewel Tunstull added 18 points in the paint. This was NU's Think Pink cancer awareness game.
GSU started strong with a 13-6 lead through five minutes and had a 15-8 lead at 11:26 when foul trouble and an injury slowed the progress. Cody Paulk and Maryam Dogo, GSU's only two post players each had three fouls in the first half, while top scorer Kendra Long got two fouls in her first five minutes. And starter Tiffany Anderson left the game after just seven minutes with a knee injury and did not return.
Back-to-back treys after thh 15-8 GSU lead propelled NU to a 10-0 run to gain the lead at 18-15. GSU had its final lead at 22-20 with 5:23, even though there were two more ties, the last at 24 with 3:14 in the half. NU added a bucket a free throw late to take a 27-24 halftime lead.
Three more NU treys to start the second half sparked that 14-2 start and GSU could never recover.
"We were having a hard time scoring tonight and we have simply got to make those easy, open shots that we were not tonight," Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. "And, we certainly didn't play defense the way we needed to either. We mentally were not tough enough to overcome the adversity we were facing tonight with foul trouble and injuries."
All told, starter Anderson logged seven minutes, starter Paulk got just 23 minutes and was cautious with foul trouble and starter Long had just 25 minutes. The bench played 79 minutes, with the four first-year players using 63 of those minutes. Many times the Panthers utilized five guards, causing some confusion as some had to play in an unfamiliar role that affected the defensive sets and the offensive plays.
Northeastern played without starter Deanna Kerkhof, who had 62 3-point baskets on the season.
Kendra Long's 2-for-4 shooting outside the 3-point line up her career total to 153 made, one shy of tying the GSU school record and two short of breaking it. Cody Paulk had one block, leaving her with 197 and three short of becoming just the seventh player in CAA history to block 200 shots. Ashley Watson was 2-for-2 at the free throw line to up her season rate to 85.9% (61-of--71)as she chases the school mark of 87% for a season.
GSU returns home to face George Mason on Sunday at 2 p.m. when the team's two seniors will be honored pre-game.