Defense Helps the Panthers Drop Troy 65-53.
Photo: Jordan Crawford, THERSdayNight.com
The Georgia State Panthers (11-5, 5-4 in Sun Belt) used a fast start in each half to defeat the Troy Trojans (10-14, 4-8 in Sun Belt) 65-53. The Panthers forced a season-high 23 turnovers, with 15 coming in the opening frame alone. Despite going out to a 12-point halftime lead and growing that lead to 17 in the second half, Georgia State saw Troy storm back in the second half, cutting the Panthers’ lead down to 6. A Desmond Williams 3-pointer capped off a 12-1 Troy run which put some pause in the Panthers, but Georgia State outscored the Trojans 21-15 the rest of the way to ensure the double-digit victory.
The Panthers were led by Jalen Thomas and Corey Allen who each scored 16 points. Thomas scored the Panthers’ 1st 10 points in the second half en route to his second consecutive career-high game. If not for a 3-point attempt late in the game, Thomas would have ended the game a perfect 6 for 6. Allen hit three 3-pointers and collected 5 rebounds to go along with his 16 points. Justin Roberts and Kane Williams each finished in double figures as well, scoring 13 and 12 points respectively. This was the second straight game Roberts finished with 9 assists. Elil Nsoseme had 5 points and 6 rebounds.
The Trojans’ leading scorer was Kam Woods who finished with 15 points, 13 of which coming in the second half. Nick Stampley had 13 points and 8 rebounds. Rory Pantophlet had 8 points on a perfect shooting night going 4 for 4 from the floor. The Trojans were better with ball security in the second half which would fuel their comeback bid. They would only commit 8 turnovers in the frame, with their first coming halfway through the period.
The first half was all Georgia State all the time. The Panthers opened the game on an 11-0 run through the first 4:30 of play. Kane Williams and Corey Allen combined for three 3-pointers in the game’s opening salvo, and Troy committed 4 turnovers before they had their first point. The Panthers shot 7 of 15 from 3-point range in the opening half with Allen, Roberts and Williams hitting at least two 3’s. The Panthers spread the rock around assisting on 7 of 12 made baskets in the first half.
Georgia State head coach Rob Lanier spoke highly of his big men, specifically highlighting Thomas’s emergence this weekend. When asked about Thomas, Lanier said, “[Thomas] gives us versatility and affects our depth…Jalen’s a good player. He’s a good offensive player, and it’s always great when you’ve got 5 guys on the floor that are a threat offensively and Jalen certainly is that.”
Georgia State returns to the floor Tuesday as they host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a make up game from a previous postponed contest. Tip off is at 5pm EST and the game can be caught on ESPN+.