Panthers Struggle On Offense, Drop Road Contest to Mercer
Kane Williams attempts a free throw in a 2019 home game. Williams led the Panthers’ efforts against Mercer on Monday with 18 points, 2 assists and 2 steals. Photo: Jordan Crawford for THERSdayNight.com
Georgia State (2-1) were out of sync on both sides of the court and couldn’t withstand a hot shooting night from Mercer (3-0), losing in Macon 86-69. The Panthers shot just 37% from the floor and 5-of-18 on three-pointers. Kane Williams led the team with 18 points while Justin Roberts and Evan Johnson had 10 apiece. The Bears had four players in double figures, co-led by Leon Ayers III and South Carolina transfer Felipe Haase with 17, and shot 48% and 42% from beyond the arc.
Trailing by 5 at the half, the Panthers briefly cut it to 2 at 44-42 but Mercer scored 15 of the next 20 points to jump out to a 59-47 lead with 13:38 to go. Georgia State got as close as 7 when a Corey Allen three made it 72-65 with 6:14 left, but instead of mounting a late comeback, their shooting woes continued to doom the Panthers. Mercer went on a 14-1 run to take their biggest lead, 86-66, with 26 seconds left.
A back-and-forth first 10 minutes was fittingly tied at 18 right at the halfway point of the first half. After a quartet of Justin Roberts free throws gave the Panthers a 22-18 lead, Mercer went on a 10-0 run – spurned by cold shooting by Georgia State and good fastbreak offense by the Bears – and led the rest of the half. A Collin Moore three-pointer cut the deficit to 35-33 with 1:54 left in the half, but that was as close as it got in the first half. The Bears went on a 7-2 run after Moore’s made three and Kane Williams hit two free throws in the last five seconds to cut Mercer’s halftime lead to 42-37. The Panthers struggled mightily from the floor in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 37% to Mercer’s 49% and just 22% from deep to Mercer’s 38%.
Georgia State return to the hardwood next on Friday, December 4, when they head up to the Queen City to face Charlotte. Tipoff from Dale F Halton Arena is at 6pm EST.