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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ryan Center (7,657) -- Kingston, Rhode Island. Television: OSN. Home Record: Georgia State 4-3, URI 2-3. Away Record: Georgia State 1-3, URI 1-2. Neutral Record: Georgia State 0-0, URI 0-2. Conference Record: SMU 0-0, URI 0-0. Series Record: Georgia State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Rhode Island Rams will try to build off an impressive win their last time out when they entertain the Georgia State Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams picked up just their third victory of the season last Saturday against the Larry Brown-led SMU Mustangs, as Mike Powell tallied a game-high 18 points and six steals to power the Rams to a 72-50 non-conference triumph.
Andre Malone chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Rams (3-7), who have won three of their last five after starting the season with five losses. Nikola Malesevic added 12 points, and Xavier Munford finished with 11.
Georgia State, meanwhile, lost its second straight contest on Tuesday, falling to Southern Miss, 69-67.
R.J. Hunter led all scorers with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor including six 3-pointers. Manny Atkins had five assists and four rebounds while he and Devonta White added 13 points each in the second consecutive loss for the Panthers, who fell to 5-6 on the year.
The Rams will be seeking a bit of revenge against Georgia State, which upended them last year in the only other matchup between the two schools.
Munford (17.2 ppg) leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring this season, but has shot particularly well, converting 38.8 percent of his shots from the field. As a collective unit, the team has averaged just 61.7 ppg, while shooting 39.6 percent from the floor and 33.5 percent from 3-point range. Jordan Hare averages 2.4 blocks per affair, which is in the top-20 nationally, all part of a team that has made a big improvement on defense when compared to last season.
Georgia State has lived on the edge this season with five of its contests being decided by two points or less (3-2). The Panthers' scoring margin illustrates that (-1.9) with the team netting 64.5 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting, while foes put up 66.5 ppg. Georgia State is also on the negative side when it comes to rebounding with a -3.9 deficit on the boards. Georgia State really relies on the 3-point shot, as the Panthers have made (68) and attempted (201), the most shots from beyond the arc in the Colonial Athletic Association. A trio of players are scoring in double figures, led by White (14.7 ppg). White has also had quick hands on defense and is collecting 2.4 steals per game. Hunter (14.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is also piling up points, but using a great deal of shots to do so as he hits only 39.3 percent of his attempts from the field. Atkins (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) has been relied on to score while serving as the team's top rebounder.
Rhode Island has played well after a rough start, but may have a hard time shutting down Georgia State's balanced offensive attack. Expect the Panthers to play another tight contest, but they should be able to get off the schneid.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 69, Rhode Island 67
12/22 10:41:04 ET
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