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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trojan Arena (5,000) -- Troy, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: GSU 4-2, Troy 2-3. Away Record: GSU 1-2, Troy 1-3. Neutral Record: GSU 0-0, Troy 1-1. Conference Record: GSU 0-0, Troy 0-2. Series Record: Georgia State leads, 13-9.
GAME NOTES: Future Sun Belt Conference foes are set to square off on Saturday night at Trojan Arena, as the Troy Trojans host the Panthers of Georgia State.
Georgia State is playing its final season in the Colonial Athletic Association and will become an official member of the SBC in July. The Panthers enter the weekend boasting wins in five of their last seven outings. They have been idle since last Saturday's 86-58 drubbing of NAIA school Southern Poly.
Things have not been going so well for Troy, as the team is looking to avoid a sixth straight loss. Most recently, the Trojans fell at Alabama State on Thursday night, 74-68. They'll wrap up their non-conference slate Wednesday at Utah Valley State.
GSU notched an 80-70 victory when these teams met two years ago, and the Panthers hold a 13-9 lead in the all-time series.
Southern Poly hung tight with GSU in the first half of last week's matchup, but the Panthers used a 13-0 second-half run and shot 56 percent over the final 20 minutes to pull away. R.J. Hunter led the way with 21 points, while Devonta White and Manny Atkins scored 16 apiece. White paces the squad with 15.1 points per game this season and ranks second in the CAA with 2.4 steals per contest. Hunter is right on White's heels, averaging 15.0 ppg as a freshman. The rookie is 10th in the CAA in scoring and 15th in rebounding, averaging 5.0 boards per game, and has already been named CAA Rookie of the Week twice this season. Atkins is next in line with 13.2 points and 6.2 boards per tilt, and he is shooting a league-best 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. Atkins has averaged 17.4 points over his last five outings.
The Trojans have been plagued by a lack of scoring punch, as they are shooting just 39.2 percent from the floor as a team. They are -5.5 in scoring margin and have really been hurt on the boards with a -7.6 rebounding margin. Hunter Williams leads the team with 10.8 ppg and has knocked down 24-of-60 threes (.400), while Emil Jones is posting 10.1 points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds per game. In Thursday's loss, Troy managed only six points in the first eight minutes of the second half, as Alabama State stretched a six-point halftime lead into a 20-point advantage. The Trojans shot just 35 percent for the game and struggled defending the perimeter, as Alabama State knocked down 10-of-17 3-pointers. Tevin Calhoun scored a team-high 13 points off the bench in the loss, while Deonata Jethroe finished with 11.
Even playing at home, it's tough to envision the Trojans being able to keep pace with the more balanced Panthers. Look for GSU to put this one away early.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 75, Troy 63
12/15 10:51:17 ET
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