ULM (8-12) at Georgia State (18-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: GSU Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 5-5, GSU 10-0. Away Record: ULM 3-7, GSU 7-6. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, GSU 1-1. Conference Record: ULM 5-7, GSU 11-1. Series Record: Georgia State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia State Panthers will try to keep their perfect home record intact as they square off with the ULM Warhawks in a Sun Belt Conference tilt.
ULM is coming off of a 65-49 win over Arkansas-Little Rock that lifted it to an 8-12 overall record and a 5-7 SBC standing. The Warhawks' victory over the Trojans was their largest over a conference rival since Feb. 22, 2007. Coach Keith Richard's team recorded season-highs of 12 steals and 12 blocks as it snapped a three-game losing streak. ULM is ranked just eighth in points per game in league play at 65.3 and it has been outrebounded by its SBC opposition by an average of 3.7 rpg. The Warhawks will conclude their brief two-game road trip at Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Coach Ron Hunter's Panthers bounced back from their first SBC loss of the season with a 68-41 rout of the Texas State Bobcats on Monday. The decision was the 10th in as many games at GSU Sports Arena and lifted the team to an 11-1 league record. The 10-game home winning streak is tied for the longest in school history. GSU ranks first in the SBC in scoring margin (+8.8), free- throw percentage (.774), field-goal percentage (.475), blocks (4.9), steals (8.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).
This will be just the second meeting between these schools on the hardwood in history. GSU won the first encounter, 66-58, in Atlanta on Jan. 25.
In ULM's decision over UALR, Tylor Ongwae poured in a game-high 25 points on 8- of-17 shooting from the floor. Jayon James filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks and three steals, and R.J. McCray came off the bench to score 12 points. Ongwae (16.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) leads just two scorers averaging in double figures. The 6-foot-7 forward had tallied a total of 49 points and seven steals over his past two games. Jayon James (10.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.8 apg) is an all-around contributor who ranks first on the team in both rebounds and assists. Amos Olatayo (13.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg) was the second option before suffering a torn ACL.
The Panthers used a balanced attack to dispatch TSU on Monday. Ryan Harrow paced four teammates in double figures with 17 points, Manny Atkins scored 15 points and collected seven rebounds and Devonta White dealt out eight assists. R.J. Hunter and Curtis Washington netted 12 and 10 points, respectively. Hunter, who is the son of GSU's head coach, leads the team with 19.8 ppg and a SBC-best 22.3 ppg in conference games. Harrow (17.7 ppg), Atkins (13.7 ppg) and White (11.0 ppg) all own double-digit scoring averages. Atkins and Washington each grab 5.8 rpg, with the latter also leading the league in field-goal percentage at .714 (40-56).
The Panthers are not going to get caught off guard by ULM with their loss to Troy still fresh in the memory banks. GSU has too much talent for the majority of the SBC to contain on most occasions. The Warhawks will need to put forth a tremendous defensive effort to have a chance of the upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 78, ULM 63
02/20 10:18:46 ET