Panthers Can’t Keep Up, Lose at Coastal 81-69
Photo: Bob McCool
Georgia State (6-2, 0-1 in Sun Belt) couldn’t keep up with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (7-1,1-0 in Sun Belt), dropping their Sun Belt opener 81-69. The Chanticleers used strong guard play from Deanthony Tipler and DeVante Jones, as well as strong rebounding from Essam Mostafa, to propel them over the Panthers. The Panthers were playing without two main rotation guys in Eliel Nsoseme and JoJo Toppin and Coastal took advantage on the glass and in the open floor. Coastal out-rebounded Georgia State 52-35 and had 20 assists to Georgia State’s 10.
Justin Roberts finished with a team-high 14 points and finished second on the team with 5 rebounds. Kane Williams added 12 points from the floor and grabbed 2 boards but struggled in the 2nd half, hitting only one of his seven field goal attempts. Corey Allen had 10 points, 8 of which came in the second half. In Toppin and Nsoseme’s absences, Coach Rob Lanier was forced to give freshmen Evan Johnson and Collin Moore a significant share of minutes. The pair of freshmen combined for 12 points and added 5 assists in their first taste of Sun Belt conference play.
Jones had a game-high 24 points for Coastal. Tipler added 22 points, hitting four 3-pointers in the win. Ebrima Dibba and Mostafa each had 15 points, and Mostafa had a game-high 16 rebounds. After starting out hitting three of their first four threes, Coastal largely cooled off from distance, finishing the game under 30% from beyond the arc.
The Chanticleers got off to a quick lead after the ball tipped in the HTC Center. The Panthers did not hit their first 3 until seven minutes into the game. Coastal had 12 fastbreak points in the first period, and the loss of Nsoseme was very apparent as Mostafa feasted on the defensive glass. Tipler found the bottom of the net on three three-pointers and the Panthers had very little answers offensively. They were able to force 9 Chanticleer turnovers but couldn’t erase the Coastal lead, trailing 39-33 after 20 minutes.
Georgia State was not without their opportunities in the second half. After going into the locker room down 6, Georgia State and Coastal traded baskets through the second half’s first 6 minutes, but Coastal would push the lead to 10 points riding Jones’s hot hand. After a Collin Moore 3-pointer with 13:40 remaining, the Panthers had cut the deficit down to four. But 60 seconds later, the Coastal lead was back to 10 after two Jones’ layups and a pair of free throws. Georgia State would never come closer than 6 points the rest of the way.
Georgia State will remain without Nsoseme and Toppin this weekend, as neither made the trip to Conway. These two teams will be right back out there tomorrow afternoon at 3pm on ESPN+ for the second half of the weekend back-to-back.