Panthers’ women eliminated, men advance in Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Georgia State’s Lady Panthers fell to Arkansas-Little Rock 75-68 in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinals. 

The second-seeded Panthers trimmed an early deficit to 59-56 with 3:58 left in the game, but the Trojans went up 10 points with 59.6 seconds remaining to seal the result.

The Panthers trailed by five points with seconds remaining. However, the Spartans prevented the Panthers from taking the lead.

Taylor Honsendove led the Panthers with 12 points on 6-9 shooting. The Panthers shot 43% from the field but turned the ball over 11 times compared to the Spartans’ six. 

Three-point shooting ultimately doomed the Panthers. Georgia State shot 44% from deep compared to the Spartans shooting 87%, missing just one of eight.

Despite the loss, the Lady Panthers have much to be proud of this season. Georgia State finished with 13 wins overall and was 9-7 in conference play, a substantial improvement from last season.

Meanwhile, the Georgia State men will live to see another day after fending off the Arkansas State Red Wolves 71-68 in the Sun Belt quarterfinals. After an ugly start, the Panthers are now two wins away from winning the Sun Belt Tournament. The Panthers will need to keep up the intensity as they advance to the semi-finals.

The Panthers improve to 15-5 overall and need two more wins to secure their fourth Sun Belt Championship in seven seasons and an automatic bid for their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Justin Roberts led the Panthers with 17 points on 50% shooting (7-14) as the Panthers survived a potential upset. Eliel Nsoseme also came up big, recording 10 points, 13 rebounds and a block. 

The Panthers trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half. But a 15-1 run put the Panthers up 34-33 at halftime after trailing 32-19 midway through the first half. The Panthers held the lead for most of the second half.

Corey Allen also had a solid performance for the Panthers in the clutch, scoring 15 points and adding three assists.

As a team, the Panthers shot an impressive 45% from the field and held off the Red Wolves in the final seconds. 

The Panthers will need to find their three-point shooting and recover from their subpar 31% clip from deep on Saturday. 

The Panthers face off against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Sunday night at the Pensacola Bay Arena at 6:30 p.m.