Women’s Basketball tops Samford with victory

Georgia State women’s basketball began their school˗hosted Thanksgiving Tournament with a 61˗56 victory over the Samford Bulldogs Friday at the Sports Arena. The victory improves the Panthers’ record to 3˗0 for the first time since 2000˗01.

First Half


The Panther ‘s first point came courtesy of a layup from Kayla Nolan before Samford’s Taylor Reece tied it up at two. A 9˗0 Georgia State run then ensued featuring four points from Brittany Logan, two from Alisha Andrews, and two more from Nolan to give the Panthers an early 11˗2 lead.

The Bulldogs responded with a 6˗0 run of their own with two˗pointers from Destiney Elliott, Hannah Nichols, and Ellen Riggins. Makeba Ponder then drained a three to extend Georgia State’s lead to six with the score being 14˗8.

The Panthers maintained their six point edge at 16˗10 before Riggins and Nichols paced Samford to a 7˗0 run allowing the Bulldogs to take a 17˗16 lead over Georgia State. In that stretch, the Panthers had missed several shots from the field before an Andrews three˗point bucket gave Georgia State a 19˗17 lead.

Free throws and three˗point shooting were the key to an ensuing 9˗0 for Samford as they assumed a 26˗19 lead over the Panthers. Nolan led Georgia State back to two as she put in four more points to close to within 27˗25, leading a 6˗0 Panthers run.

The Bulldogs’ Amara Mayers made one out of two free throws to make it a 30˗27 game before a jumper from Kennesha Nichols brought Georgia State to 30˗29. Samford would lead by this margin going into halftime.

Second Half


Reece began the second half with a jump shot to extend Samford’s lead out to three at 32˗29 before the Panthers took a brief lead with a 4˗0 run with two˗pointers from Nolan and Gaby Moss. Riggins, Nichols, and Krista Stricklin then contributed to a 7˗0 for Samford as they took a 39˗33 lead.

After Ponder hit one of two free throw attempts, the Bulldogs widened their lead to 43˗34 for their largest advantage of the game. A 6˗0 run by the Panthers with all six points coming from Nolan brought Georgia State to 43˗40 midway through the second half.

Reece and Andrews then traded threes to make the game 46˗43 in favor of the Bulldogs. Samford would maintain this lead before Logan cut the deficit to one at 48˗47. Nichols’ fourth three and Logan’s seventh and eight points made the score 51˗49 before a three from Ashlee Cole gave Georgia State a 52˗51 lead, the Panthers’ first lead since the first half.

The Panthers maintained their lead at 54˗53 then Alisha Andrews converted a Bulldogs turnover into points, then followed up it with a jumper to lead a 4˗0 Georgia State run for a 58˗53 score.

Reece upped her point total to nine, then Nolan hit one of two free throws after being fouled by Kassidy Blevins. Logan picked up her fourth foul to put Destiney Elliott at the line where she made one of two. This produced a 59˗56 score in favor of the Panthers.

Georgia State then committed a shot clock violation on their next possession to give Samford the ball back with a minute left in the game. Reece attempted to tie it up at 59 with a three, but it would not fall, and Moss snagged the rebound for the Panthers.

Nolan was then fouled with 19 seconds remaining as the Bulldogs called timeout. She made one of two free throws. Samford then missed a couple of layups forcing them to foul with four seconds left. Nolan went to the line again and made one out of two free throws.

Georgia State would prevail by a final of 61˗56.

Georgia State will take the court Sunday as they face Liberty in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Tournament.

Final Stats
Georgia State Kayla Nolan: 20 points Alisha Andrews: 14 points Brittany Logan: 10 points, eight rebounds
Samford Hannah Nichols: 14 points Ellen Riggins: 14 points, eight rebounds Taylor Reece: nine points