South Carolina State (14-10) at Georgia State (11-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 20th, 6:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Georgia State Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: SC State 8-2, Georgia St. 8-4. Away Record: SC State 6-8, Georgia St. 1-11. Neutral Record: SC State 0-0, Georgia St. 2-2. Conference Record: SC State 8-5, Georgia St. 5-11. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The South Carolina State Bulldogs pull into Atlanta for a BracketBusters clash with the Georgia State Panthers.
The Bulldogs bring a 14-10 overall ledger into this contest, which includes an 8-5 mark in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action. The club had a five-game win streak snapped by Coppin State last Saturday, and has since logged a win and a loss, most recently falling in an 87-69 verdict against North Carolina A&T on Wednesday night to complete a season sweep by the Aggies.
This is the fifth straight year that GSU has participated in this event, and the club boasts a 3-1 record thus far. The Panthers come in with an 11-17 record for the season. GSU is coming off a hard-fought 77-72 victory over James Madison on Tuesday night which snapped a three-game slide.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs on the hardwood.
The Bulldogs shot just 36.7 percent from the floor in Wednesday's loss, including a dismal 3-of-16 performance from long range. The Bulldogs lost the battle on the boards by a 42-30 margin as well, and were edged by the Aggies in the paint, 28-24. Darnell Porter scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the way in the losing effort, while Jason Flagler and Tyvon Williams finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Brandon Smalls got into the mix as well, registering 10 points off the bench. SC State is shooting 44.7 percent from the field this season, and as a result averages a healthy 71.3 ppg. Flagler paces the Bulldogs with his 14.6 ppg, and the forward also comes up with a team-best 5.7 rpg. Joining him in double figures is Porter with 13.5 ppg, while Arsenio Williams is on the cusp with his 9.0 ppg.
Georgia State connected on just 44.1 percent of its attempts from the floor during Wednesday's five-point win over JMU, but the Panthers also converted 20-of-29 from the free-throw line and committed just eight giveaways. Joe Dukes posted 25 points to lead the way, while Trey Hampton scored 19 points and collected seven rebounds. Jihad Ali added 13 points off the bench, while Ousman Krubally chipped in 11 points to go with six boards. The Panthers have limited their opponents to 62.8 ppg this season, but are averaging just 61.5 ppg themselves. As a result, GSU boasts only two players with a double-digit scoring average, beginning with Dukes and his 13.0 ppg. Dukes also leads the squad in assists with 105, and is currently second on the boards with 5.3 rpg. Trae Goldston is netting 10.7 ppg.
GSU has played well defensively all season, and will should continue to do so against the Bulldogs. With the hometown faithful in their corner, expect the Panthers to earn a hard-fought victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 67, South Carolina State 64
02/20 11:00:19 ET