Panthers clinch at least a share of regular-season title

Photo Courtesy: Mike Eden Manny Atkins hit the game-winning shot to put the Panthers over the Ragin' Cajuns

Georgia State claimed at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title Thursday with a 77-49 win over the University of Texas at Arlington at College Park Stadium.

The Panthers need one more win or for Western Kentucky to lose one more game to become the sole Sun Belt regular-season champions.

The Panthers’ last regular season conference title was in the 2001-2002 season in the Atlantic Sun Conference. That season was the last time the Panthers made it to the NIT Postseason Tournament.

Western Kentucky cut it close with a 51-50 victory against Texas State to keep them in the running. However, the best now they can do is tie with Georgia State for the regular season title.

Georgia State was down 34-29 at the half to the Mavericks before going on an 18-0 run early in the second half, and ultimately only allowed 15 points in the second half.

The Panthers held Texas-Arlington to 35 percent shooting in the game.

Manny Atkins scored a game-high 27 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Crider, Ryan Harrow and Devonta White all finished in double-figures.

The Panthers’ victory also clinched two byes for the team in the Sun Belt Conference tournament allowing them to start in the tournament semifinals. The top two seeds get two byes, the No. 3 and 4 seeds get one bye round and the bottom four teams all start in the first round.

Georgia State improved to 21-7 on the season, 14-1 in the Sun Belt. Texas-Arlington dropped to 12-15, 7-8 in the Sun Belt.

The Panthers will try to clinch the regular season title Saturday against Texas State at 5:30 p.m.