Panthers Can’t Keep Pace, Lose to App State 80-71
Photo: Jay Crain
The Georgia State Panthers (8-3, 2-2 in Sun Belt) couldn’t keep up with the Appalachian State Mountaineers (11-5, 5-2 in Sun Belt), dropping the first contest of their weekend series 80-71.
The Panthers and Mountaineers traded baskets all game, but Georgia State just couldn’t find a final push that they needed to match Appalachian State. The Panthers out-rebounded the Mountaineers 31 to 26, but 16 Georgia State turnovers fueled the Mountaineers to 21 fast break points, which ultimately sunk the Panthers.
Junior forward Eliel Nsoseme led the Panthers in scoring with 16 points and brought down 8 rebounds. Kane Williams had 14 points and 3 assists, while Collin Moore and Corey Allen combined for 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Despite scoring 10 points, Allen struggled from 3-point range, only hitting on 2 of his 7 attempts for the evening. The 3-point shooting was a struggle for Georgia State, as the rest of the team matched Allen’s production from range, combining to shoot 4 for 14 for the game.
For Appalachian State, Justin Forrest had a game-high 23 points and added 4 steals on defense. Adrian Delph had 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor. The Mountaineers got double-digit offerings from Micheal Almonacy and Donovan Gregory, who scored 13 and 12 respectively. Unlike the Panthers, Appalachian State did not struggle from range, as they shot 10 for 23 from distance on the night.
The Panthers had plenty of opportunities to take control of the game but couldn’t quite find a run to end the day with a win. With 5:29 remaining in the second half, a Jalen Thomas jumper in the paint followed by Eliel Nsoseme and Corey Allen layups gave Georgia State a 64-61 lead. On the ensuing possession Collin Moore fouled Justin Forrest who would hit the front end of 2 free throws, the Mountaineers would grab the offensive rebound and get the ball back to Forrest who would hit a layup while being fouled to tie the game and give the Mountaineers the lead after Forrest hit the free throw. The Panthers would retake the lead after a Moore layup with 4:02 remaining but from then on would only score 5 more points on two made shots and App State closed the game out from the free throw line.
The two teams traded buckets throughout the first half, scoring in completely different ways from each other. The Panthers couldn’t connect from 3-point range, shooting only 16.7% from range. A Collin Moore 3-pointer was the only triple the visitors hit in six attempts in the half. Georgia State instead found success inside the arc by attacking the basket, shooting 55.6% from the floor. The Mountaineers did not share the Panthers’ struggles from range, knocking down 8 3-pointers, with Forrest, Delph and Almonacy each hitting multiple in the half. Turnovers were a problem for both teams, but more specifically for Georgia State. Appalachian State forced 9 Georgia State turnovers in the opening frame while only committing 6 of their own. That all translated into a 37-35 halftime lead for the Mountaineers.
Georgia State and Appalachian State go again Saturday to complete the weekend series. Tip off is at 4pm EST from the Holmes Convocation Center and can be caught live on ESPN+.