ATLANTA,GA (WWAY) — UNC Wilmington saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end Sunday as it suffered a 76-67 setback at Georgia State in Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball action at the Georgia State Sports Arena.
The Panthers moved to 8-14 overall and 3-8 in league play as they halted a five-game losing skid with the nine-point victory. The Seahawks slipped to 17-5 and 9-2 as they suffered their first defeat since a 70-58 loss at Virginia Commonwealth exactly one month ago.
Sophomore Cody Paulk poured in a career-high 15 points to pace a balanced Georgia State attack that saw five players score in double figures as it shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the field and 88.9 percent (16-of-18) at the free-throw line for the contest.
Freshman Kendra Long chipped in 14, 11 of which came in the second half, while junior Chan Harris pitched in 13 points to go along with nine rebounds and game-best five steals. Paulk grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double as the Panthers held a 42-30 advantage on the glass.
Senior Martha White finished with 21 points to lead four UNCW players in double figures as senior Brittany Blackwell chipped in 14, freshman Alisha Andrews pitched in 12 and sophomore Jessica Freeman added 11. Blackwell pulled down a team-best eight rebounds for the Seahawks while Freeman dished out a game-best six assists.
Trailing 35-27 at the start of the second half, Georgia State used a 15-4 spurt over a four-minute span to take a 45-43 lead.
UNCW halted the Panthers run as it scored four of the next five points to regain the lead, 47-46, before Georgia State rattled off seven unanswered points to start another run, an 18-5 stretch that gave the Panthers a 64-52 lead with 7:40 remaining.
UNCW fought back, scoring eight of the next nine points to cut the Georgia State advantage to five, 65-60, with 4:38 left to play.
That would be as close as the Seahawks would get however, as the Panthers used an 11-4 stretch to rebuild their double-digit lead before a three-pointer by Freeman in the closing seconds determined the final margin.
Earlier in the contest, a pair of free-throws by Blackwell midway through the opening frame sparked a 22-6 run that erased a 14-8 deficit and gave the Seahawks a 30-18 lead with 2:40 remaining. Georgia State responded to the UNCW run, scoring nine of the next 11 points until a three-pointer by Andrews at the buzzer stopped the rally and gave the Seahawks a 35-27 advantage at intermission.
Both teams return to action Thursday with CAA contests. UNCW is at William and Mary while Georgia State hosts Georgia Mason. Tip off for both contests is set for 7 p.m.