Men’s basketball clinches double-bye with 58-50 win over UL-Monroe

A wild, back-and-forth matchup on the road in Monroe, Louisiana resulted in Georgia State men’s basketball defeating the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (UL-Monroe) by a final of 58-50.

The victory improves the team’s record to 21-9 on the season and 14-5 vs. Sun Belt opponents. The Panthers also have clinched at least a double-bye, automatically advancing the team to the semifinals of next week’s Sun Belt championship in New Orleans.

Ryan Harrow finished the game with 31 points, leading Georgia State.

First Half

The Panthers scored early and often with a 13-0 run starting the game. Harrow scored six early points, R.J. Hunter had three,and Markus Crider and Curtis Washington each scored a pair.

The Warhawks answered with a 14-0 run. Junior ULM guard Justin Roberson scored five early points, junior forward DeMondre Harvey had four early points, sophomore guard Nick Coppola made three and junior forward Majok Deng had two. ULM led 14-13. Crider then increased his point output to four as Georgia State retook the lead at 15-14.

The Panthers maintained their one-point lead with scores of 18-17 and 19-18. Harvey made a layup, reclaiming a 20-19 UL-Monroe lead before another Harrow three briefly made it a 22-20 game in the Panthers’ favor. Coppola responded with two more of his own as the Warhawks’ lead became 24-22.

With the Warhawks ahead 26-24, Harrow put in two more points, tying the game at 26. Senior forward Tyler Ongwae made one of two from the free throw line after Jalen Brown fouled him.

Deng later made a layup with one second left in the first half as the Warhawks took a 29-26 lead into halftime.

Second Half

Harvey began the second half with a tipin and an offensive rebound, growing the Warhawks’ lead to 31-26. Harrow later contributed two more points, bringing the Panthers within three at 31-28. Coppola later made his next four shots from the foul line, extending the Warhawks’ lead to 35-28.

Crider made one of two from the line after Coppola fouled him, but Ongwae turned a Hunter turnover into a dunk and a 37-29 lead. Hunter later made only one of two from the free throw line after Deng fouled him. Later, Roberson extended the UL-Monroe lead to 39-30 with a two-point jumper.

As the second half neared the halfway point, Washington made a layup and a free throw after Deng also fouled him. This gave the Panthers 39-33 prior to a Harvey layup that expanded the Warhawks’ lead to 41-33. Harrow later made 10 straight points which was followed by a Hunter three-point shot, giving Georgia State a 46-41 lead off a 13-0 run.

A UL-Monroe offensive rebound resulted in a Harvey layup, closing the gap to three at 46-43 prior to another Harrow three-pointer, growing the Panthers’ lead to six at 49-43.

With Georgia State ahead 51-45, a Washington offensive rebound resulted in a dunk and a 53-45 advantage.

The Panthers maintained their eight-point lead at 55-47 prior to Ongwae making three free throws, closing the gap to five at 55-50. A pair of Ryann Green free throws and one successful foul shot from Harrow expanded the Georgia State lead to 58-50, the Panthers margin of victory for the game.

Georgia State plays its regular season finale at the Sports Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. vs. Georgia Southern.

Final Stats
Georgia State UL-Monroe
Harrow: 31 points Hunter: nine points
Harvey: 13 points, 15 rebounds Coppola: 11 points