Georgia State men’s basketball won its fourth consecutive game on Saturday at the Sports Arena against the Arkansas State Red Wolves by a final of 74-43. The victory places Georgia State at 15-7 for the year and 8-3 in the Sun Belt Conference.
“I thought our kids did a nice job,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “They handled themselves with composure. It was a good win. We had to have this win. With nine games left, you’ve got to win at home. We’re in a fight for a championship.”
After a scoreless first couple of minutes, Georgia State cracked the scoreboard with a midrange jump shot by Markus Crider. He provided a spark early for the Panthers with two points and adding two rebounds. T.J. Shipes extended the early Panthers lead to 4-0.
Baskets from Crider, Curtis Washington and R.J. Hunter extended the early Panthers run to 10-0, prompting a timeout from Arkansas State with 13:22 left to play in the first half.
The Red Wolves finally got on the scoreboard after seven minutes elapsed in the first half with a three-pointer by junior guard Cameron Golden, but the lead became nine at 12-3 with a fastbreak layup by Ryan Harrow.
Harrow’s third and fourth points made it a 14-3 game, then the Red Wolves were charged with a goaltend on a Kevin Ware layup attempt that still found the basket to up the Georgia State lead to 16-3.
Arkansas State junior guard Frederic Dure made his team’s second three which was followed by a two-point jump shot by redshirt junior guard Sean Gardner cutting the Red Wolves’ deficit to 16-8. Hunter made it 11 with his first three-pointer of the game as the Panthers led 19-8.
Golden would make one free throw after being fouled by Crider to get within 10 at 19-9.
After a tipin by Ware, with 5:57 remaining, Harrow threw down a fastbreak dunk for his sixth points of the game and to surpass 1,000 for his Georgia State career. It also expand the Panthers’ lead to 23-9.
A three from Gardner increased his point total to five and got the Red Wolves within 23-12, but the lead became 16 at 28-12 with layups by Ware and Harrow plus a free throw from Shipes after a foul assessed against Arkansas State junior forward Kelvin Downs.
It was 30-14 in the Panthers’ favor with under two minutes to go before Harrow placed in another slam dunk on an assist by Ware.
Dure was fouled by Jordan Session sending him to the free throw line with 43 seconds remaining. Dure made both free throws as the score became 32-16. Gardner’s increased his point output to seven with seven seconds left in the half producing a 34-18 score in the Panthers’ favor.
The pace was slowed in the beginning second frame, but with nearly two minutes having passed, Hunter was fouled hard by Arkansas State redshirt sophomore P.J. Hardwick. No altercation ensued as Hunter was calmed down by his Georgia State teammates.
“When something like that happens, I feel like I’m the mediator for our team,” Crider said.
Hunter made both free throws giving the Panthers a 36-18 lead. Shipes drew his third foul to send Red Wolves sophomore Anthony Livingston to the line. He made both of his foul shots for his first two points of the game for a 36-20 score.
Hunter then returned to the line after a foul by Downs while Hunter was driving to the basket. Two more free throws by Hunter gave the Panthers a 38-20 lead.
With the score at 40-22 with Georgia State ahead, and players and fans becoming frustrated with the onslaught of foul calls, Harrow upped his point total to 12 as the Panther lead became 42-22. Harrow was then later called for a technical foul while on defense—his seventh of the year.
Hardwick went to the line shooting a pair of free throws after the technical assessed to Harrow. He made both. A dunk from Gardner after the two successful free throws gave the Red Wolves a score of 42-28 before a layup from Crider made it a sixteen point game at 44-28.
With the score at 46-30 in the Panthers’ favor, two more made free throws by Harrow after a foul by Dure made it 48-30. Junior center Nouhoum Bocoum would then make a pair of free throws after Shipes fouled out of the game. Boucoum made one of two from the line.
Four more points each from Washington and Harrow along with a jumper from Crider grew the Georgia State lead to 58-31. Golden then placed in a three-pointer for Arkansas State as they trailed 58-34.
Sophomore guard Daijon Macklien would later assess a personal and technical foul. After Hunter made two free throws for the technical, Harrow also made a pair from the line as the Panthers lead became 62-34.
That lead became 67-34 after one more made free throw by Harrow and four from Curtis Washington.
With the score at 69-36 in Georgia State’s favor, Ware was charged with a foul against junior forward Charles Waters. Waters made both of his shots from the line. The game was out of reach for Arkansas State with Georgia State’s reserves on the floor.
Sophomore guard C.J. Foster made one of two free throws after a foul against Jordan Session. Layups by Crider and Jalen Brown extended the Georgia State lead to 72-39.
Livingston made four consecutive points as the score became 72-43 prior to a Session jumper that made it 74-43 in Georgia State’s favor.
The Panthers would win by a final of 74-43.
Georgia State returns to action on Thursday when they take on conference-leading Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia.
|Harrow: 21 points, 8-11 shooting
|Crider: 14 points, 11 rebounds
|Livingston: 10 points, 6-7 free throws
|Golden: 9 points