Panthers Secure Sun Belt Title, Ticket to the Big Dance in 73-64 Win over UT Arlington
The Georgia State Panthers are NCAA Tournament-bound once again after a 73-64 win over the UTA Mavericks in Sunday afternoon’s Sun Belt championship game in New Orleans. All five Georgia State starters scored in double figures, with senior forward Malik Benlevi leading the way with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Benlevi was rewarded with the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award for his performance.
Defense was the recipe for success for the Panthers in the championship game. The Mavericks went over 15 minutes of game time without a made field goal at one point during Sunday’s contest. Georgia State’s defense held UTA to just 36% shooting from the field and 21% from the three-point line.
The Panthers have secured consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in school history. Georgia State has just 5 all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament, three of which have come in the last 5 seasons under coach Ron Hunter. Hunter’s team moves to a 24-9 record on the season entering the NCAA Tournament’s first round, which will take place over March 21st and 22nd.
The Panthers will take on third seeded Houston in the first round of the tournament on Friday, March 22nd at 7:20pm.