William & Mary (7-8) at Georgia State (6-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: GSU Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 4-2, GSU 5-5. Away Record: W&M 3-6, GSU 1-6. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, GSU 0-0. Conference Record: W&M 1-3, GSU 1-3. Series Record: William & Mary leads, 7-5.
GAME NOTES: A pair of 1-3 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association try to get their seasons back on track, as the Georgia State Panthers play host to the William & Mary Tribe on Wednesday evening.
William & Mary dropped a 70-59 decision at Hofstra last Saturday afternoon, which was its fifth consecutive loss as it fell below .500 for the first time since it was 2-3 in late November. Despite the Tribe's disappointing stretch, their 7-8 record is still an improvement over the 2011-12 campaign when they won just six games in all.
Georgia State too has been sliding of late, as it has dropped seven of eight since starting the year at 5-4. The Panthers have lost consecutive matchups to CAA opponents Hofstra (52-50) and Delaware (86-83), and they have gone just 5-5 in 10 games at home this season.
Although Georgia State won both matchups a season ago, William & Mary leads the all-time series, 7-5.
After shooting just 27.3 percent from the field in the first half against Hofstra to fall behind at 27-17, William & Mary could never recover on its way to an 11-point defeat as it shot a lowly 4-of-25 (.160) from 3-point range in the game. Brandon Britt scored 21 points in the setback, and while Marcus Thornton shot just 3-of-13 from the floor, he went 9-of-11 from the foul line on his way to 17 points. Kyle Gaillard chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. The Tribe are usually a much better shooting team, and they boast a .457 field goal percentage for the season and average 69.0 ppg, which rank first and second in the CAA, respectively. The majority of that production comes from Thornton, who is the league's second-leading scorer at 18.3 ppg, and he also dishes out a team-best 2.7 apg. Britt (14.5 ppg) and Rusthoven (13.7 ppg, 6.9 ppg) round out perhaps the best scoring trio in the league, as each shoots greater than 50 percent from the floor. Rounding out the starters are Gaillard (9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Matt Rum (5.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg), and the Tribe have run out the same starting five in all 15 games.
Georgia State built a halftime lead against Delaware only to see it slip away down the stretch. The team let a perfectly good showing from the field (27- of-59) and the foul line (20-of-23) go to waste by allowing the Blue Hens to make nearly 52 percent of their field goal attempts while sending them to the stripe 37 times. Manny Atkins was impressive in the loss, hitting four 3- pointers en route to 20 points. Devonta White (18 points, six assists), R.J. Hunter (15 points, eight rebounds) and Rashaad Richardson (13 points) also had solid outings, although Hunter (15.9 ppg) left the game with a sprained foot and he is listed as doubtful for this contest. In his absence, White will act as the team's go-to scorer, as he is averaging 14.2 ppg and 3.2 apg. Atkins chips in with 12.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg, and he has been impressive from beyond the arc (28-of-69, .406). James Vincent nets less than five points per game, but he is an imposing figure in the paint with a league-best 2.5 blocks per tilt.
Something has to give in this matchup between floundering squads. William & Mary will have a great chance if Georgia State is without its best player in Hunter. But regardless, the Panthers should find a way to prevail, thus giving the home fans reason to smile.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 68, William & Mary 66
01/16 10:34:29 ET