Photo: Sam Roberts/ CLT Athletics
The Georgia State Panthers (8-5, 2-4 in Sun Belt) fell just short of a come from behind win, falling to the South Alabama Jaguars (12-8, 6-5 in Sun Belt) 70 – 67 in their first action since January 23rd. After being down 10 points with 5:06 remaining in the second half, the Panthers went on a 10-0 run led by Corey Allen and Justin Roberts to tie the game at 65 each. South Alabama’s Tyreke Locure hit a deep 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining which gave the Jaguars the 68-65 lead which they would not relinquish.
The Panthers were led offensively by Elil Nsoseme who had a game-high 18 points and 9 rebounds. Justin Roberts and Corey Allen each finished in double figures adding 15 points and 12 points respectively. Kane Williams and Evan Johnson each had 8 points in what was a very thin bench for Georgia State. The Panthers continued their cold 3 point shooting ways finishing the game 5 for 25 from beyond the arc, Johnson being the only Panther to hit more than 1 3-pointer. Ball security was an issue again as the Panthers committed 15 turnovers leading to 17 points for the Jaguars.
Sam Iorio paced the Jaguars with a team-high 18 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Michael Flowers added 17 points including three 3-pointers, while Sam Locure had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and the eventual game winner. The Jaguars as a team shot 24% from 3 point range, making 8 of their 33 attempts from distance. The Jaguars trailed for much of the first half, and went into halftime down 4, but used a strong second half from Iorio and Locure to erase the Panthers lead.
The first half went better for the Panthers on both sides of the ball. The Panthers brought energy and intensity in their first game action at home since January 16th. Nsoseme had 10 points and 3 offensive rebounds, anchoring the Panthers’ defense in the middle. South Alabama had no answer for Evan Johnson who scored all 8 of his points in the first half. Johnson hit two 3’s and a jumper which helped Georgia State take a 28-23 lead with 6:14 remaining in the half. Despite only forcing 4 turnovers, the Panthers held the Jaguars to only 38% shooting from the floor. Only Flowers was able to get anything going against the Panthers’ defense.
Georgia State returns to the floor on Thursday as they host Georgia Southern before heading to Statesboro on Saturday to complete the series. Tip off is at 6pm EST and can be seen on ESPN+.