Here are a few thoughts after Georgia State’s 83-62 win over Texas-Arlington on Thursday at the GSU Sports Arena. The Panthers (11-6, 4-2 Sun Belt) have a quick turnaround with a trip to Appalachian State for Saturday’s game.
Ryan Harrow (mostly) shines. Harrow had his mojo working against the Mavericks, scoring 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting. In the past four games in which he has played, Harrow has scored 27, 25, 29 and 22 points. On Thursday, he hit four 3-pointers, runners and tear-drop layups in which he arched the ball high over a defender’s outstretched arm. He even dunked, which brings us to the (mostly) in the lead in.
Harrow missed the last game because he has sprained toes. It’s hard to jump when your toes hurt. But Harrow was able to get up for a dunk in the second half. Proud of himself, he let out a yell. The referees hit him with a technical foul. It was, unofficially, his sixth this year.
Coach Ron Hunter said the technical fouls need to stop, but also defended his player.
“Think what happens, fairly or unfairly, you get a reputation,” Hunter said. “Some technical fouls have become reputation fouls. He plays with a certain edge, if you take that edge away he’s a different type of player. He’s not disrespecting officials or players. Sometimes it becomes more of a reputation thing.”
“I’m the type of player that shows emotion,” he said. “I just have to learn to hold it in sometimes.”
Hunter’s shooting. R.J. Hunter had an off night, scoring eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. He missed all six of his 3-pointers. It ended a two-game string in which he scored 64 points. Of course, that followed a stretch of six games in which he didn’t score more than 19 points in any of those games. The Panthers went 3-3 during that six-game stretch. So, it may be reassuring to see the Panthers blow out the Mavericks on another night in which Hunter was the focus of the defense.
The bench. Jordan Session and Curtis Washington played productive minutes for the Panthers. It may have been the best all-around game for both players. Session had six points and two rebounds in 13 minutes. Washington had six points, four rebounds (three on offense) and three blocks in 15 minutes. When Washington didn’t get the rebound, he was usually able to tip it back out to the perimeter players. Isaiah Dennis continued his solid play with three assists in nine minutes. These minutes are important because the Sun Belt went to 20 games this year, which means a lot of games compacted into a few days. After Saturday’s trip to Boone, the Panthers will play at Arkansas State on Monday. The bench players will need to keep earning Ron Hunter’s trust so that the starters have the energy to finish games.