On Thursday night in the Sports Arena, the GSU women’s basketball team plays its lone exhibition game of the season when the Panthers play host to Montevallo at 7 p.m.
With 12 returning veterans, the women’s team hopes to be copycats of the men’s rise by 10 wins last year when it had 10 returning players.
The optimism stems from a pair being named to the preseason all-conference team. Six-foot-four senior center Brittany Logan was named second team, while the Panther 17 inches shorter at 4-foot-11, Alisha Andrews, was picked third team.
Up-tempo Georgia State will have depth and experience as a major asset. The horde of returners have 702 college games of experience, with 3,629 points and 136 double-figure scoring games among them.
Defense, all 94 feet of the court as necessary, will help Georgia State pressure opponents to try for steals and easier transition baskets. The hungry Panthers have 560 career steals among them as they hunger for the basketball when the other team has it.
The exhibition game will welcome back a pair of 6-foot-2 forwards in Haley Gerrin and Ashanti Groover, whose freshmen season ended with surgery. They’ll add strength under the basket where Georgia State held a rebound advantage in 12 of the final 14 games last year. Gerrin led the conference in field goal percentage last year and will be an added scoring threat to the offense.
A pair of freshmen will experience their first action on “Lefty” Driesell Court in the Sports Arena on Thursday. Guard Makeba Ponder showed skill as the state’s top scorer last year (24.5 ppg) and poured in more than 2,000 career points with 232 3-point baskets. Forward Kennesha Nichols was a finalist for Miss Tennessee basketball with more than 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
After 18 of 31 games on the road last year, the Panthers get to have 17 of the 30 at home this year and hope to take full advantage of the friendly confines and spirited fans.
Take advantage of the one opportunity to see the women’s team early and check out the potential on Thursday. The team won’t be at home again until a Monday, Nov. 24 home opener and a Thanksgiving Weekend tournament.
Be part of the home court advantage and judge the copycat potential for yourself Thursday. Students, as always, get in free. Regular tickets are just $5 to go with the $1 concession prices that make it easy on the budget.