Panthers Run Away Late on Strong Perimeter Shooting, Down South Alabama
Georgia State (13-6, 6-2 in Sun Belt) hit a season-high 15 three-pointers and locked up on defense down the stretch to close out on the road against South Alabama (11-8, 4-4 in Sun Belt) and win their third straight, 72-63. Back-to-back Justin Roberts threes turned a 48-45 Panther deficit into a 51-48 lead with exactly ten minutes left in the game and the team never looked back, leading the rest of the way. Roberts continued his scorching shooting from the previous game against ULM, going 6-of-11 from 3 and leading all scorers with 20. Senior Damon Wilson netted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds and led the Panthers with 5 assists. Josh Ajayi led the Jaguars with a double-double of his own, 19 points and 10 rebounds, and John Pettway had a season-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
South Alabama stormed out of the gates with an aggressive zone defense and stymied the Panthers, scoring the first six points of the game. Georgia State settled down and started finding a rhythm from the outside, making 8 of their first 16 three-pointers and eventually taking a 37-33 lead into the break. South Alabama slowed the game down to their tempo in the second half and ground the Panther offense to a halt, forcing Georgia State into turnovers and bad looks on offense to take a 15-5 run out of the locker room and push it to their largest lead of the night at 48-42. But the Panthers defense put stops together – ultimately forcing 20 Jaguar turnovers on the night – and the shooting heated back up. The Panthers allowed just 15 points over the final 12:21 and drained six threes over that time, getting makes from Roberts, Wilson, Corey Allen and Nelson Phillips to run out to a double-digit lead and put the game away.
The Panthers continue their tour of Alabama on Saturday when they head to face Troy. Tipoff is at 2pm EST.