For the second time this season, Georgia Tech and Georgia State squared off inside McCamish Pavilion, but this time it was the women battling it out on the hardwood. The result was different this game as the Yellow Jackets came out victorious 75-51.
The Panthers started this game off behind the eight ball, as two of their best players, Shay Fluker and Jada Lewis were out due to injury. Both players were in walking boots before the game started and did not dress.
Without Lewis and Fluker, the team had to play near perfect basketball against the Women’s National Invitational Tournament runner-up from last year– they finished the game with 28 turnovers.
“Georgia Tech, they’re very big, and they’re very good defensively and they did cause some [turnovers] no question. But I also thought some of them we just gave it away, just kinda panicked with the ball and we have to have people that are comfortable with the basketball at different times and not trying to give it up as quick as they can,” Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said after the game.
The Panthers had ten turnovers in the first half, but despite the turnovers they were able to hang around in the game. Kierra Henry scored the first points of the game for the Panthers halfway through the first quarter. After one, the Panthers trailed 15-8.
The Panthers fought hard in the second quarter, trimming the Georgia Tech lead to as low as three. But the turning point in the game came with just over a minute left in the first half when Baldwin-Tener had to remove point guard Madison Newby. Janessa Murphy was at the free throw line to trim the Tech lead to five, 29-24.
After that Tech would go on an 11-1 run to end the half and their lead jumped to 14, 40-25.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t let up in the second half as the Panthers were never able to get the deficit below 14 points.
There were a few bright spots for the Panthers in this one. Henry scored a career-high 17 points.
“I think she’s capable of driving on some people, she’s got to get better at recognizing when she can stop and shoot the pull-up,” Baldwin-Tener said. “ I knew someone would have to step up without our leading scorers (Fluker and Lewis) and she was able to do it.”
Newby and Murphy added ten and eight points respectively. Freshman Deja Mitchell played 39 minutes and added 6 points and 4 rebounds.
The Panthers will be off until Fri., Nov. 24th when face the VCU Rams in the GSU Thanksgiving Classic, their first home game of the season.