Sun Belt Tournament Preview: Women’s team confident in New Orleans

Coach Baldwin advising the women’s basketball team on Jan. 20 against Georgia Southern. Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

The Georgia State women’s basketball team finished the regular season on March 3 with a 70-69 loss to South Alabama. This leaves the team with an 8-21 record overall and Sun Belt Conference record of 4-14.

Head coach Sharon Baldwin’s team played some stiff competition outside of the Sun Belt including Florida and No. 7 ranked Mississippi State. They went 4-8 outside of the conference.

The team struggled mightily within the Sun Belt as well, only winning conference games against Georgia Southern, Troy and UL Monroe, all of which were dominant victories. Defeating Georgia Southern the second time Feb. 17 gave them their only road conference victory of the year.  

This brings the team to the Sun Belt tournament which will begins March 6. While their record hasn’t been great thus far, the Panthers are keeping optimism high.

“We are very optimistic going into the tournament. We are focused on one team at a time,” said Kierra Henry.

Janessa Murphy echoed this statement after defeating Troy on March 1 saying, “I believe we’re gonna go really far in the tournament. If we play how we know we can play, no one can beat us.”

The Panthers enter the tournament as the No. 10 seed and face off against Coastal Carolina who enters as the No. 7 seed in the first round. Georgia State averages 63 points, while Coastal Carolina is averaging 67.2 points.

Coastal Carolina is entering riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Arkansas State and Appalachian State, receiving big games form Jas Adams with 41 combined points.

Baldwin said the team knows they can’t win the Sun Belt outright, so now they are taking it game-by-game to try and play their best ball at the end of the season. The fight is still in the team though. Baldwin said the team doesn’t quit, citing many of their close games this season.

Catch the first game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament for the Panthers on March 6 at 5:00 p.m. CT as the Panthers try and take down Coastal Carolina.