Texas State (7-17) at Georgia State (17-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 17, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: GSU Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: Texas State 4-7, GSU 9-0. Away Record: Texas State 1-9, GSU 7-6. Neutral Record: Texas State 2-1, GSU 1-1. Conference Record: Texas State 3-8, GSU 10-1. Series Record: Texas State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: Fresh off their first Sun Belt Conference loss of the season, the Georgia State Panthers will try to get back on track on Monday night when they return home to GSU Sports Arena to take on the Texas State Bobcats.
This game was originally scheduled for last week but moved due to severe weather conditions.
Texas State's campaign has been a struggle from the very start, as it has gone just 7-17 overall and 3-8 in Sun Belt action. The Bobcats ventured to Texas- Arlington on Saturday night and were saddled with a 69-62 loss to fall to a mere 1-9 on the road.
Georgia State was one of the nation's hottest teams heading into its most recent contest having won 14 consecutive games before finally losing its first conference tilt of the season on Saturday in an 85-81 loss at Troy. The Panthers are 17-7 overall, and at 10-1 in the Sun Belt are still three games up in the loss column on Western Kentucky for first place. They have also yet to lose on their home floor (9-0).
Texas State has won both previous meetings versus Georgia State, but the newly-formed conference rivals haven't met since 1993.
The Bobcats appeared poised to capture a solid road victory over the weekend, as they led by eight at intermission, but they quickly lost control after halftime by getting outscored in the second stanza, 44-29, on their way to the seven-point defeat. They shot a stellar 46 percent from the field with seven 3-pointers, but they were only 9-of-15 at the free-throw line and committed 17 turnovers. Wes Davis poured in a game-high 12 points, while Joel Wright tallied 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
On the season, Texas State has been held back by a underwhelming offensive attack (63.3 ppg), which all but spoils a stellar effort on the defensive end of the floor (66.2 ppg). Wright is one of the few standouts with 14.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg and more than a steal per contest. Emani Gant (9.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg) narrowly misses the double-digit scorer's club and shoots 58.2 percent from the field, and Davis brings 9.1 ppg to the table.
The Panthers only held one lead in their last game, a two-point advantage in the opening minute, and they could not keep pace with the hot-shooting Trojans on their way to the four-point road loss. They shot 47.4 percent from the floor, including 9-of-20 from beyond the arc, but Troy knocked down 12 3- pointers and won the rebounding battle, 39-32. R.J. Hunter was active from long range (5-of-11) en route to a team-high 26 points. Manny Atkins put up 18 points, Ryan Harrow logged 15 points and six assists and Devonta White netted 11.
The high-scoring effort was typical for Georgia State, which shoots a lofty 47.3 percent from the field this season for 79.3 ppg. The squad's defensive performance has been far from outstanding (71.3 ppg), but it has been plenty good enough to win when paired with its shooting success. Hunter leads the way with 20.2 ppg on excellent showings from 3-point range (82-of-195, .421) and the free-throw line (108-of-123, .878). Both Harrow (17.8 ppg) and White (11.3 ppg) hand out more than four assists per outing, while Atkins (13.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Curtis Washington (8.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.4 bpg) round out the stellar starting five.
Georgia State suffered a misstep on Saturday on the road, but it shouldn't have much of an issue returning to the win column back at home against the lackluster Bobcats.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 76, Texas State 63
02/17 10:32:38 ET