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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: GSU Sports Arena (3,800) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: UALR 4-2, GSU 6-0. Away Record: UALR 4-5, GSU 4-5. Neutral Record: UALR 1-1, GSU 1-1. Conference Record: UALR 4-1, GSU 4-0. Series Record: Arkansas-Little Rock leads, 16-1.
GAME NOTES: The red-hot Georgia State Panthers welcome the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans to town for a Sun Belt Conference clash.
The Trojans enter the contest with wins in five of their last six games after surviving in an 87-83 overtime decision against Western Kentucky on Thursday. Even with the string of victories, the Trojans are just 9-8 overall, although they do have four wins in five Sun Belt tilts. They host Texas State in their next outing.
R.J. Hunter nailed a jumper with 12 seconds remaining to lift Georgia State to a 73-72 victory over Arkansas State on Thursday. The win was the eighth straight for the Panthers, who have climbed to 11-6 overall, including a perfect 4-0 mark in league play. They will battle Louisiana on the road next.
These former Atlantic Sun rivals are meeting for the first time since 1991, when Georgia State earned an 80-60 victory in the conference tournament. The win was the Panthers first in 17 meetings with the Trojans.
Josh Hagins saved UALR with a timely jump shot in the final seconds to force overtime, and the Trojans then hit 5-of-7 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line in the extra session to top Western Kentucky. The Trojans were paced by a career-high 32 points from Will Neighbour.
Neighbour is putting together an extremely impressive season, averaging 17.8 ppg and 7.4 rpg while shooting 51 percent from the floor. At this pace, Neighbour is netting in excess of five points more per game than his career average. Supplementing Neighbour's efforts are Hagins (11.9 ppg) and James White (10.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg), who are each averaging in double figures. Depth is an issue though, with no other player producing more than seven ppg. As a team, the Trojans are scoring a decent 72 ppg and shooting at a 44 percent clip.
Hunter finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field to lead four players in double figures in Georgia State's win over Arkansas State. The Panthers forced twice as many turnovers (12) as they committed (six) to make up for a 41-26 deficit on the boards.
The Panthers are fortunate to have two of the top scorers in the Sun Belt, with Hunter (18.7 ppg) ranking fourth and Ryan Harrow (18.2 ppg, 4.5 apg) just a step behind. Hunter has scored in double figures in 11 straight games and has hit for at least 20 points in five of the last six games. Harrow is also tied for second in the conference in assists with teammate Devonta White (9.8 ppg, 4.5 apg). Manny Atkins (13.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg) provides additional scoring depth for the team, which is ranked at the top of the Sun Belt standings in field goal percentage (.475).
Georgia State is one of the best offensive teams in the country, powered by a potent trio in the backcourt. Neighbour alone won't be able to carry the load for the Trojans on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 78, Arkansas-Little Rock 72
01/18 10:21:56 ET
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