Mountaineers fall to Panthers

Cameron Vaughan

It was a heartbreaking loss Thursday night as a 13-point lead turned into a 5-point loss in the end. The Mountaineers fell to Georgia State 80 to 75, dropping them to 5-11 on the year and 2-5 in the Sun Belt.

The Apps started off the game strong, forcing six turnovers in the first quarter.  Things were working on offense as well, scoring 11 points in the first 1:30 of the game.

Madi Story continued her hot play of late, scoring seven of her 16 points in the first quarter. She also led the team in rebounds, pulling down eight.

By the 4:03 in the first quarter mark the team went up 21 to nine.  Georgia State finished strong though going on a 12-4 run to end the quarter down 25 to 21.  

The Mountaineers opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run to go up by 11 with 7:34 left in the second quarter, but Georgia State was able to mount another run of their own to end the half down five.

Mountaineer head coach Angel Elderkin attributed their early scoring runs to good rebounding leading to easy transition points.

“We were rebounding better so it allowed us to get into our transition game,” Elderkin said.

Elderkin was also proud of the teams defensive intensity, forcing Georgia State into 19 turnovers during the game. But sustaining that level of intensity has been something they struggled with all season long and it showed in the second half.

The Mountaineers were outplayed in the third quarter, being outscored 26-15 in the period to head to the fourth down six.

Georgia State’s offense relied on theirs scoring runs, including the third quarter that would eventually keep them on top for the win.

“When they went on their runs I just think we had defensive break downs and that really hurt us,” Story said.

A strong performance from Bria Carter was instrumental in keeping the game close despite all the scoring runs. Carter was aggressive on defense, forcing two steals and swatting one shot while shooting an effective 7 of 9 from the field for 17 points. 

 Despite the good individual defense from Carter, and the strong turnover advantage, the Mountaineers had no answer for Georgia State’s Haley Gerrin. Gerrin  finished with a career high 20 points in the win for the Panthers.

With the loss App State now sits in ninth place in the Sun Belt standings, a half game out of a three way tie for the final spot in the conference tournament.

Georgia State improves to 3-5 in Sun Belt play and is a part of that three way tie for the final spot in the conference tournament.

The Mountaineers are scheduled to playMonday against rival Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center.

Story by: Cameron Vaughan, Sports Reporter