MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Georgia State was even with Middle Tennessee through three quarters Thursday afternoon at the Murphy Center, but the Blue Raiders outscored the Panthers 22-7 in the final period to hand GSU a 69-54 defeat.
Middle Tennessee, who was picked first in the C-USA Preseason Coaches Poll, led 16-10 after one quarter and held a 35-24 lead at halftime. Georgia State came out of the break on fire from long range, sinking five 3-pointers in the third quarter.
The Panthers used a 9-0 run, capped by a Janessa Murphy 3-pointer to put GSU in front 42-41 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
GSU outscored MTSU 23-12 in the third quarter as the game entered the final period tied 47-47.
The Blue Raiders took control in the final 10 minutes, shooting 67% from the field in the fourth quarter. Middle Tennessee would go on to win 69-54 after putting up 22 points in the period,
With the loss, Georgia State falls to 3-2 on the season. The Panthers end up splitting their four-game road stretch against C-USA teams. GSU defeated FAU and FIU, but lost to preseason C-USA favorites MTSU and Rice, who was picked to finish second in the league.
For senior K.K. Williams, Thursday's game was a homecoming. The senior was a standout for powerhouse Blackman H.S. in Murfreesboro. She won back-to-back state titles and a national championship in her final two years of high school. Williams scored nine points Thursday to go with five rebounds.
Jada Lewis led Georgia State with 14 points and Janessa Murphy joined Lewis in double-digits with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Walnatia Wright scored 10 points with seven rebounds. Shaq Miller-McCray, who entered the game leading the Sun Belt in blocks, totaled two more blocks Thursday along with six rebounds.
Next up for Georgia State is a home contest Sunday at 2 p.m. against crosstown rival Georgia Tech. Tickets can be purchased online at GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix. Concession items at the Sports Arena are just $1.
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