As the spring semester gets underway, the fans are rolling back into the GSU Convocation Center and basketball season continues to ramp up. On Saturday, Jan. 13, Georgia State defeated conference rival Georgia Southern 90-62 in dominant fashion.
The energy from the 3,152 fans in attendance, including the white-out student section, created an electric atmosphere from tip-off to the final buzzer. “First, I want to acknowledge our crowd and especially our student section,” head coach Jonas Hayes said. “It was as lively a crowd as we’ve had since we’ve been here. Keep showing up because you give our guys so much energy.” Immediately after the game, Hayes went over to high-five the students in the front row, thanking them for their support.
Junior guard Lucas Taylor put up a career-high 28 points, draining five out of six from beyond the arc and 11 out of 16 from the field overall. Taylor was joined by forward Leslie Nkereuwem, redshirt sophomore guard Toneari Lane, and junior guard Dwon Odom who all scored in double figures.
Lane played a team-high 38 minutes, scoring 18 points on seven for 15 shooting and securing six rebounds. Also in the backcourt, Odom showcased his crafty finishing around the rim adding 15 points. He also displayed his ability to get his teammates involved, dishing out nine assists and nearly recording his fourth double-double of the season. Nkereuwem took care of business in the paint, scoring 14 on seven for seven shooting, and pulling down seven rebounds.
Not only did Georgia State control the game on the scoreboard, they won the game in the rebounding category as well, racking up 44 rebounds to the Eagles’ 31. Guard Jay’den Turner notched his fifth consecutive game with double digit rebounds, grabbing 15 boards in 30 minutes against Georgia Southern. Turner also recorded 15 rebounds, in a win against Old Dominion earlier this season.
The Panthers also played well on the defensive end, holding Georgia Southern to 34.3% on field goals and 20.6% from three. Capitalizing on a solid first half performance, Georgia State entered the second half with a 10-point lead and further solidified their dominance with a 15 to four run. This momentum carried them through, as they didn’t trail the remainder of the game.
After Saturday’s win, Georgia State improves to nine and seven overall, and four and one in conference play. Georgia Southern drops to two and 15, with a two and three record in conference play. The Panthers lead the all-time series against the Eagles 21-16, now winning eight of the last 10. The 28-point margin of victory is tied for the largest in matchup history.
Georgia State has now won five of their last six games, improving to third in the Sun Belt Conference and traveling to Boone, North Carolina on Wednesday, Jan. 17 to take on the 13 and four Appalachian State Mountaineers. The Mountaineers currently sit at second place in the Sun Belt Conference. Trailing only a single game behind Appalachian State, the Panthers aim to secure their fourth consecutive win.