Panthers Close Strong in Boone, Beat App State 80-75
Georgia State senior forward Malik Benlevi was the X-factor in the Panthers’ 80-75 road win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers Thursday night. The Panthers improve to 19-8 on the season and 10-4 in the Sun Belt Conference with this win.
Malik Benlevi’s 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks were instrumental in the Panthers’ Thursday night win on the road. Ron Hunter’s team got off to a hot start, riding a barrage of three-point shooting and forced turnovers to jump out to an early 24-7 lead. Appalachian State was able to slow down the Panthers and close the gap going into the half thanks to a smart switch to zone defense.
Appalachian State star guard Ronshad Shabazz had a quiet night – posting 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting, 1 of 5 from deep. An old-fashioned three-point play and clutch block on Shabazz by guard Kane Williams late in the game was enough to push the Panthers past an App State team that has struggled to close out close games, falling to 4-9 (T-11th) in Sun Belt play.
Georgia State is back in action this Saturday on the road against Coastal Carolina. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.