Hempstead, NY - Junior All-American Shante Evans recorded her seventh consecutive game with a double-double to lead the Hofstra Pride to an 80-67 victory over the Georgia State Panthers in a Colonial Athletic Association game at the Mack Sports Complex Thursday night.
The Pride, who won their third straight game, improved to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to stay in a first place tie with Delaware. The Panthers dropped their third consecutive game and fell to 6-9 on the year and 0-4 in conference play.
The 4-0 CAA start is Hofstra's first since joining the CAA beginning with the 2001-02 campaign.
Evans recorded game-highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds to extend her double-double streak that started back on December 18 at Saint Peter's. It was her ninth double-double of the season. Senior guard Nicole Capurso joined Evans in double-figures with 10 points. Georgia State had three players in double-figures led by sophomore guard Kendra Long with 19 points. Junior Tiffany Anderson added 10 points and tied for team-high rebounding honors with seven while classmate Jerlisa Taylor also chipped in with 10 points.
The Pride came out of the gate fast while the Panthers stumbled. Evans scored six of the Pride's first eight points as Hofstra jumped out to a quick 8-0 after the first 2:49. Long put Georgia State on the board on a jumper from the side at the 16:22 mark. It would be the Panthers' only bucket for the first 6:08. Meanwhile, the Pride continued to build their lead and took a 16-2 advantage on an Evan's lay-up at the 13:52 mark. Evans had 10 of the Pride's first 16 points.
The Panthers had their second-best spurt of the half with five straight points to close to within nine at 16-7 with 12:55 to play in the half following a Cody Paulk lay-up. But Hofstra then went on a 16-6 run over the next 4:23 with Candace Bond's three-pointer giving the Pride a 32-13 lead at the 7:23 mark. After the Panthers scored five of the next six points to close to 33-18 following a Long three-pointer with 6:03 to play, Hofstra went on another 8-2 spurt as Andreana Thomas' lay-up at the 2:24 mark gave the Pride their biggest lead of the half at 41-20. Georgia State's Ashley Watson scored five of the Panthers' seven unanswered points to close to with 14 at 41-27 with 48 seconds to play in the half before Hofstra's Deven Green closed out the scoring in the period with a lay-up with 29 seconds remaining. Hofstra shot 45 percent (18-40) from the field and took advantage of 14 Panther turnovers to the tune of 18 points in the half. Georgia State struggled from the field, hitting 31 percent from the field (11-35). Evans led all scorers in the first session with 10 points for the Pride.
Chan Harris and Long opened the second half with buckets for the Panthers to bring them within 12 at 43-31. But Hofstra responded with a 12-2 run, behind eight points from Evans, to take their biggest lead of the game at 55-33 after Evans' three-point play with 13:46 to play. Hofstra continued to hold a comfortable lead and held a 68-47 advantage after an Annie Payton three-pointer with 7:22 to play before Georgia State made a late rally. Freshman Miranda Smith's jumper 26 seconds later started a 17-6 Panther run over the next 3:38 as Georgia State closed to within 10 at 74-64 with 3:18 to play after Long's jumper, Long had six points in the spurt.
But Thomas' bucket inside at the 2:26 mark for Hofstra kept the Panthers from closing the gap to single digits and Evans added a lay-up and Anma Onyeuku hit two free throws in the last 1:40 to give the Pride their third consecutive victory. Hofstra shot 39.5 percent from the field and outrebounded the Panthers, 58-44.
Hofstra returns to action on Sunday, January 15 when they travel to Norfolk, Virginia to face the Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion at 3 p.m. That game will be televised on SNY.