Hot Shooting From Troy Dooms Panthers to First Home Loss
Georgia State (15-8, 8-4 in Sun Belt) locked up on defense in the second half but couldn’t finish out late against a hot-shooting Troy outfit (9-15, 5-8 in Sun Belt), losing their first home game under coach Rob Lanier 84-78 and getting swept in the season series by the Trojans. Troy topped their 12 threes made in their home matchup against Georgia State with 14 makes on 33 attempts – including 10 in the first half – to mark a new season high allowed by the Panthers. On offense for the Panthers, Corey Allen led all scorers with 25 points on 9-of-22 shooting, 5-of-13 from deep. Josh Linder provided solid minutes for the Panthers’ frontcourt, tallying 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Troy’s Ty Gordon scored five straight points of his team-leading 24 points to erase a 74-69 Georgia State lead with three minutes left. After consecutive defensive stops by both teams, a Davion Thomas three-pointer gave the Trojans a lead they would never relinquish with 53 seconds left. Coach Lanier emphasized a need for the leadership of the team to step up in helping the team “execu[te] the gameplan from game-to-game.” He was hopeful about learning from this loss after what has been a run of close wins, saying, “If we make the layup at the end of the game and we walk away with the win, then maybe we don’t learn the lessons that the game put out there for us.”
Both offenses came firing out of the gate, particularly from deep, as they made a combined 17 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes – 10 from Troy, 7 from Georgia State. A back-and-forth affair, the Panthers took their first lead of the game at 21-20 on a Justin Roberts triple. But the threes kept falling for Troy and the Trojans stayed in striking distance as a result. 11 straight points (including three consecutive made threes) from Williams pushed a 41-41 tie to Troy’s largest lead of the half at 52-45. Back-to-back layups for the Panthers in the last minute made it a one-score game heading to the locker rooms.
After Thomas’ jumper to make it 77-74 late in the game, the Panthers were able to cut the deficit back to one twice – on layups by Justin Roberts and Kane Williams – and Troy’s Tahj Small missed the front-end of a one-and-one to give Georgia State a chance at the win. However, on the ensuing possession, Roberts’ layup fell off the rim and Troy closed out the game from the line.
The Panthers go back on the road next, taking on the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana on Thursday. Tip-off from the Cajundome is at 8pm EST.