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Lady Panthers win battle of the GSUs

    ATLANTA — Cody Paulk collected 18 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead Georgia State to a 73-48 victory over Georgia Southern in the Lady Panthers’ Thanksgiving Tournament Friday afternoon in GSU Sports Arena.
    Anna Claire Knight posted career highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles (0-2), and Sierra Kirkland scored eight. Meredyth Frye finished with seven points and three rebounds, while Danielle Spencer and Aishya Wofford each had six boards.
    Kayla Nolan scored 15 for the Panthers (3-1), and Ashlee Cole netted 13. Maryam Dogo had 11 rebounds.
    The Eagles struggled from the field, shooting 24 percent for the game and 1 for 15 from 3-point range, and went 17 of 27 from the
free-throw line.
    “I thought we let some missed shots early dictate our execution on both ends of the floor for much of the first half,” said Georgia Southern coach Chris Vozab. “We executed our halftime adjustments with great energy, which allowed us to make a few runs in the second half, but the margin was too much to overcome.”
    Georgia Southern forced 20 turnovers and finished with 13 steals. Georgia State hit 47 percent from the floor and knocked down four triples.
    Paulk and Cole each scored four points as Georgia State used a 12-0 run to open a 14-4 margin 6:26 into the contest. Georgia Southern went 0 for 9 from the floor during the stretch.
    The Eagles cut an 18-point, second-half deficit down to 10 twice, but the Panthers never let the margin get under double figures.
    Kirkland ignited an 8-0 Georgia Southern run that made the score 38-28 5:09 into the second half, but Nolan answered with a pair of free throws and Gaby Moss drilled a 3-pointer to push the margin back to
    Lacie Dowling hit a 3, and Knight added a pair of free throws to cut the lead back to 10 with 12:09 to play, but the Panthers went inside to Paulk.
    The senior scored five points in a 15-5 run that pushed the lead to 20 points with 6:59 remaining. Nolan added seven points during the stretch.
    The Eagles are back in action at the Georgia State Thanksgiving Tournament today at 2 p.m., as they take on either Kent State or Florida A&M.