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Georgia State men’s basketball wins nail-biter against Dartmouth

Photo by Shel Levy | The Signal

Georgia State is two games above five hundred for the first time this season. The team defeated the Dartmouth Green Wave, 83-80 in overtime Tuesday night. 

Head coach Rob Lanier described the evening as, “a good win against a very good team.”

In a back-and-forth game that had 14 lead changes and 11 ties, the first ever game against an Ivy League opponent for the Panthers inside the GSU Sports Arena was a nail-biter. 

“We’ve played a really tough schedule,” Lanier said. “To have to play five out of your first six on the road and then come home [to] play two tough teams, and have to play overtime games, it says a lot about our group.”

However, Lanier has constantly brought up a theme throughout the first month of the season: discipline. 

He preached this multiple times after the game, especially in regards to taking care of the basketball. The team had 14 total turnovers, with 10 of them being committed by starting guards.

“We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and executing,” Lanier said. “Sometimes we force things a little on offense.”

The Panthers were definitely challenged by Dartmouth.

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Junior forward Chris Knight scored 23 points on an extremely efficient 9-of-11 shooting performance from the field. He also added nine rebounds. Senior guard James Foye, who made countless crucial shots for the Big Green, finished with a team-high 25 points. The pure shooter was 7-of-12 from the field, with only one two-point attempt. The lefty also pitched in 5 assists and played a game-high 40 minutes.

For the home team, it was all smiles from the tip. The crowd was arguably the loudest it has been all season, and the players took notice, especially Corey Allen. He redshirted last season after transferring from the University of Detroit-Mercy, giving him an extra year of eligibility in college basketball.

“It’s crazy,” Allen said. “At my old school, we didn’t have an atmosphere like this, so this reminds me of high school.”

Allen, who scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half and overtime period, finished with a variety of crafty shots. The biggest? A corner, step back jumper with one second left in regulation to tie the game at 69 and send it into overtime. 

In overtime, the Panthers outscored the Big Green 14-11, with junior guard Kane Williams and freshman center Joe Jones III making big free throws down the stretch to widen the gap, as they combined to go 7-for-8 in the period.

Williams was his usual self, scoring 16 points to go along with 8 rebounds and three assists. 

“Honestly, it’s just coming to me,” he said in regards to his consistent play. “They’ve been telling me to crash the boards all week. The few times I crashed, I got rebounds or touched the ball a little bit.”

It’s coming together for everyone, though, and Lanier is ready for the learning experience.

“I’m struggling as a coach, to be honest with you, to find a balance between getting these guys to play with a combination of playing with confidence and aggression, not thinking too much, not looking over their shoulder at me and being disciplined.”

The learning will continue for the Panthers going forward, as they’ll travel to Mercer University on Saturday to take on the Bears in Macon at 4:30 pm.