Panthers Fall to Houston in Tulsa, 84-55
Georgia State’s season came to a close in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 84-55 loss to the Houston Cougars in Tulsa, Oklahoma Friday night. The Panthers were held to just 30% shooting from the floor by a smothering Houston defense. D’Marcus Simonds led the way for the Panthers with 18 points.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 19-5 lead. The Panthers were able to battle back to cut the lead to 31-25 with 3:40 left in the first half thanks to a hot shooting half from senior guard Devin Mitchell. Mitchell finished the half with 10 points on two for three from the three point line.
The second half belonged to Houston, however. The Cougars opened the second half of play on a 10-2 run and never let off the gas. Senior Houston guard Corey Davis Jr. torched the Panthers for 7 three-pointers and 26 points on the game. Sophomore forward Fabian White Jr. added on a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Kelvin Sampson’s team.
The Panthers finish the season with a 24-10 record. This marks the fifth 20-win season for the Georgia State in the six years since joining the Sun Belt conference and sixth under eighth-year head coach Ron Hunter. This was the first consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for Georgia State in program history. The Panthers graduate 4 seniors this year: Devin Mitchell, Jeff Thomas, Malik Benlevi, and Jordan Tyson. Junior Guard D’Marcus Simonds is also expected to leave the program a year early to pursue a career playing professionally.