ATLANTA – Alcorn State came from behind to defeat Georgia State, 53-52, in the championship game of the 14th Georgia State Invitational on Saturday.Alcorn (4-7) won both games in the tournament by a single point. Today, forward Kenisha Daniels scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the win. She scored the final four points for the Lady Braves today. Ashley Hawkins scored 11 points, while Corneshia Hollis and Shawtawnee Collins each added 10 points.
Georgia State (3-8) got another double-double from sophomore forward Shay Rawls with 15 points and 10 rebounds while junior guard Brittany Hollins added 10 points.Georgia State led by seven points with 14 minutes in the game only to see Alcorn State come back and gain the lead with 7:48 to play. When Alcorn built the lead to eight points at 53-45 with 4:04 left, they never scored again as Georgia State rallied back. In the final minute with Alcorn up 53-51, freshman Traci Haltiwanger was fouled in the act of shooting. She made the first to make it 53-52, but missed the tying second shot. Georgia State got the rebound of that second shot, but turned the ball over. Georgia State stopped Alcorn on a 30-second shot clock violation and had 15.8 seconds. Sophomore guard Monica Mann was fouled shooting with 10 seconds left, but missed both her shots.
When Georgia State fouled Alcorn’s Tanika Nunez, she missed both her free throws with 9.1 seconds left, leaving the door open for the hosts to win. Georgia State worked the ball down low, but Mann missed a game-winning jumper.Georgia State dominated on the boards, claiming a 49-31 advantage, including 22 offensive rebounds. The host Panthers were hurt today by poor free-throwing shooting as they hit just 8-of-18 for 44 percent.“We’ve got to have confidence to make plays, whether it is a field goal, a free throw or a defensive stop,” Coach Lea Henry noted. “With all our young players, we don’t have that confidence yet. But, we can still get it and have a good season and conference run this year.”The Panthers gained the lead at the start, 3-2, and led the entire first half with a 22-18 advantage at the halftime intermission. Georgia State had its largest lead at 35-28 at 14:10 and held it the first 12 minutes of the second half before Alcorn’s rally.Nunez of Alcorn was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after her game-winning shot and 15 points yesterday. Today, she played all 40 minutes and had a game-high seven assists. The Georgia State Invitational All-Tournament included Alcorn’s Ashley Hawkins, Georgia State’s Shay Rawls and Brittany Hollins, Mississippi Valley State’s Portia Wilson and Campbell’s Marlena Murphy.