Georgia State game thread: South Alabama

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Georgia State will host South Alabama at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena.

It is the second in a five-game homestand for the Panthers (9-3, 2-1 Sun Belt).

Last games

The pleasing and infuriating parts of the Georgia State men’s basketball team were on a display in a 72-68 win over Troy on Thursday at the GSU Sports Arena.

The Panthers built a 26-point lead  just before halftime, but were unable to put the Trojans away. They fought back and cut Georgia State’s lead to four in the game’s final minutes.

The pleasing: The 38 points in the first half tied for the fourth-most productive half this season.The 38 came on 15 made field goals.

The infuriating: That was followed by 34 points on just nine made field goals in the second half, including a meager 1-of-8 on 3-pointers. The offense stalled thoughout the 20 minutes. Several times, the shot clock dropped to three when the students started the countdown, only to watch as a Georgia State player would then be forced to hoist a low-percentage jump shot. Though Troy packed the inside, no one attacked the rim. Of course, they didn’t attack inside often in the first half, either (no free throws in the first half). It has been a problem all season. There don’t seem to be defined roles yet for the offense and if Markus Crider isn’t coming off the bench, there’s next to no points coming from that group. The Panthers got just eight points last night from the bench, all from Isaiah Dennis.

The pleasing: Georgia State held Troy to just 19 points in the first half. That was the third-best defensive performance in a half this season. Nos. 1 and 2 came in the previous five games (14 by Southern Miss; 16 by Texas State).

The infuriating: The 49 points allowed in the second half tied for the second-most this season. The worst came three games ago at Texas-Arlington. After missing 8 of 10 3-pointers in the first half, Troy hit 6 of 13 in the second half. The Trojans drew foul after foul inside early in the second half, moving into the bonus in less than five minutes. It seems odd that Troy had such ease getting the ball inside against a zone defense, but they did.

South Alabama defeated Georgia Southern 64-58. The Jaguars won despite missing 13 of 17 3-pointers. They outrebounded the Eagles by 10.

Who are the expected starters for Georgia State?

G Kevin Ware. Averaging 13.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He hit more 3-pointers in the first half against Troy (3) than he had all season (2).

G Isaiah Williams. Averaging 9.0 points and 3.1 assists per game.

F Jeremy Hollowell. Averaging a team-high 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. After scoring 16 points in the first half against Troy, he scored six in the second half.

G Jeff Thomas. Averaging 6.6 points per game. He didn’t score and played just four minutes against Troy. I mention it because he is arguably the best shooter on the team and the offense needed someone who could shoot against Troy.

F TJ Shipes. Averaging 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

3 key facts about Georgia State

Panthers are averaging 66.8 points per game, last in the Sun Belt, 297th out of 346 Division I teams.

Panthers are allowing 61.1 points per game, 12th best in Division I.

Panthers’ opponents are hitting 29.9 percent of their 3-pointers.

Who are the key players for South Alabama?

Ken Williams is averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game.

Georgi Boyanov is averaging 9.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Nick Stover is averaging 9.6 per game.

3 key facts about South Alabama

The Jaguars are averaging 69.1 points per game but allowing 71.2.

The Jaguars are hitting 32.3 percent of their 3-pointers.

The Jaguars are hitting 40.4 percent of their shots and allowing 43.4 percent.

Is it on the radio?

Yes. 1340AM and 1230AM. Dave Cohen and Brandon Leak will be your hosts.

Is it on TV?

ESPN3.

Can I follow you on Twitter?

Sure, but only if you follow me @DougRobersonAJC


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