Panthers match 2018 win total with 14 games remaining, dominate ULM in 2nd half

Georgia State’s women’s basketball team and the University of South Alabama go head-to-head in a home game on Jan. 17. Photo by Unique Rodriguez | The Signal

With 14 games remaining, Georgia State tied its eight-game win total from the 2017-2018 season when it defeated Louisiana-Monroe 56-41 thanks to an incredible third quarter on Saturday.

The Panthers (8-7, 2-2) entered halftime tied at 28-26, and then the Warhawks (7-8, 1-3) retook the lead with an early Whitney Goins 3-pointer in the third quarter. What took place next was a domination in a 18-0 run Georgia State put together, putting a win out of reach for Louisiana-Monroe.

Georgia State won the third quarter 20-6 behind a 60 percent field goal percentage and a 9-6 rebounding advantage. Goins scored another 3-pointer in the final minute of the quarter and all six of what the Warhawks scored in the period.

“When you go seven points in the second quarter, six points in the third and nine in the fourth and go single digits three quarters in a row, it’s obviously going to make it tough,” Louisiana-Monroe head coach said.

The +14 point differential was their best of the season since they outscored Florida Atlantic 22-4 during their Nov. 10 win. Louisiana-Monroe never pulled back within 13 points after the third quarter ended.

The Panthers had a slow start because they made just four field goals had five turnovers in the first quarter. Another fault of theirs in the quarter was allowing Arsula Clark, a Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team selection, to score 10 points on 80 percent shooting and two free throws.

They trailed 19-9 heading into the second quarter but tightened up defensively. The Warhawks turned the ball over 9 times in the second quarter, and the Panthers attempted seven more field goals as a result.

Luckily for the Warhawks, Georgia State made just 5 of those 17 shots it attempted, three of which came from Madison Ervin. Ervin finished with 12 points and Allison Johnson led the Panthers with 15 points.

Georgia State took one-point leads three times but went into halftime tied 26-26. Without the 17-7 second quarter that Georgia State won, it more than likely wouldn’t have been able to take control during the second half.

Six Panthers scored in the third, including Walnatia Wright, who grabbed 10 rebounds and nine points. The team moved the ball well and dished out four assists on its six third period field goals.

Georgia State head coach Gene Hill said the team wants to be dominant on the defensive end before the season began. His team recovered after the Warhawks shot 46.7 percent in the first quarter and held them to 21.6 percent the remainder of the game. The Warhawks’ 28.8 shooting percentage (15-of-32) was their worst of the season.

Georgia State plays the Sun Belt’s thriving Alabama teams this week. The Panthers face South Alabama (12-3, 1-3) on Jan. 17 at the GSU Sports Arena on 6 p.m. and conference-leading Troy (13-2, 4-0) at home on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.