While you were away: Men’s Basketball

The last time students could be found in droves on Georgia State’s campus, it was still early in the basketball season for both the men’s team. The Panthers have since completed their non-conference schedule and are now in the midst of Sun Belt play as we get closer to the conference tournament in March.

Men’s Basketball

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Graphic Design by Maddie Richardson

Dec. 17 at Old Dominion (58-54 OT loss)

Georgia State nearly earned a victory on the road against the Old Dominion Monarchs, but eventually suffered defeat by a final of 58-54 in Virginia. The Panthers had assumed a 50-42 lead with under six minutes to play before Old Dominion responded with an 8-0 run to close out the regulation period.
The Monarchs would go on to win the game behind 21 points from junior guard Trey Freeman. Three Panthers would finish in double-digits for points as Ryan Harrow finished with 16, R.J. Hunter put in 13 and Markus Crider had 11.

Dec. 21 vs. Southern Miss (68-55 win)

The Panthers returned to the Sports Arena four days later and earned a 68-55 victory over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. Leading the way in the winning effort for Georgia State was Harrow who finished the game with 27 points.
The team also saw a 13-point outing from Hunter who was battling flu-like symptoms. He also contributed seven assists along with five rebounds while still playing 31 minutes.

Dec. 27 at Green Bay (78-61 loss)

Earlier in the season, Georgia State had earned a 72-48 victory over Green Bay at the Sports Arena. A couple of days after Christmas, the two mid-major powers squared off again, but this time, the Phoenix prevailed by a final of 78-61.
The two teams played each other close for a majority of the game before Green Bay closed the second half with a 16-1 run en route to the seventeen-point victory. Green Bay’s Carrington Love finished with 28 points while the Panthers got 19 from Hunter and 14 from Harrow, who was held scoreless in the second half.

Dec. 30 vs. UL-Monroe (65-45 win)

Having concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 7-4 record, Sun Belt play commenced for Georgia State with a matchup at home against the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe. The Panthers’ defense of their regular season conference championship began with a 65-45 victory over the Warhawks.
Leading the way for Georgia State vs. UL-Monroe was Crider, who recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. A late second-half run by the Panthers was enough for the team to pull away to their first Sun Belt victory of the year.
The Panthers’ defense also managed to keep the Warhawks’ leading scorer Tyler Ongwae scoreless. Ongwae averaged almost 16 points a game coming into the matchup.

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Graphic Design by Maddie Richardson

Jan. 3 vs. UALR (82-69 win)

Georgia State then matched up against the Trojans of University Arkansas-Little Rock for the team’s first matchup for the new year. As the previous matchup for the Panthers concluded, this one also ended in auspicious fashion as Georgia State prevailed 82-69 over UALR.
The Panthers would get 21 points from Kevin Ware as he was also celebrating a birthday. The 21 points were good enough for a career high. It was another game in which Georgia State rode a late scoring run on the way to victory.

Jan. 5 vs. Texas State (77-74 2OT loss)

Losses for the Panthers at the Sports Arena have not been common as of late, but the Texas State Bobcats did just that as they defeated Georgia State by a final of 77-74 in double overtime.
Late in the first overtime, Ryann Green made a pair of clutch free throws to put Georgia State ahead 69-66, but Texas State would get a buzzer-beating three from junior forward Emani Gant to send the game to a second overtime, in which the Bobcats would prevail.

Jan. 8 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (84-80 loss)

This one was circled on the schedules of many: the much anticipated rematch from last year’s Sun Belt championship game between Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia State. This one also resulted in a victory for the Ragin’ Cajuns as the topped the Panthers, 84-80 from the Cajundome.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 29-12 lead, but Louisiana-Lafayette got back in the game with many fouls being called against Georgia State. Hunter and Harrow combined for 52 of the Panthers’ 80 points.

Jan. 10 vs. Troy (77-72 win)

Georgia State was coming into their home matchup on Saturday against Troy already having lost two in conference play after their 17-1 conference showing last season. After losing their last two, the Panthers got back in the win column by beating the Trojans by a final of 77-72.
The Panthers were short-handed as they competed vs. Troy without Harrow who was encountering foot issues. Hunter scored a season-high 37 points to lead Georgia State to their third Sun Belt win.