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Northeastern (18-10) at Georgia State (15-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: GSU Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: NU 7-7, GSU 9-6. Away Record: NU 9-2, GSU 6-9. Neutral Record: NU 2-1, GSU 0-0. Conference Record: NU 13-3, GSU 10-7. Series Record: Northeastern leads, 9-6.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia State Panthers will close out the 2012-13 regular season on Wednesday night, as they welcome the first-place Northeastern Huskies to GSU Sports Arena for a Colonial Athletic Association clash.
At 18-10 overall and 13-3 in the CAA, Northeastern has clinched at least a share of the league's regular-season title, its first ever as a member of the CAA and its first since claiming the America East crown back in 1993, and with a win in this matchup it will earn that title outright. The Huskies hosted James Madison last Wednesday in their most recent bout, and came away with a 66-64 triumph.
Georgia State has come on strong down the stretch, as it has won three of its last four games to improve to 15-15 overall and 10-7 in conference. The Panthers also played JMU in their latest contest, winning on the road on Saturday afternoon, 66-62.
NU leads the all-time series with GSU, 9-6, although the Panthers defeated the Huskies on Jan. 30 in Boston, 78-73.
Northeastern played a hotly-contested bout with JMU, and with the game tied at 64-64 with just three seconds remaining, David Walker connected on the game- winning jumper to give the Huskies the thrilling victory. It was an outstanding shooting night for the squad, as it made nearly 49 percent of its field goal attempts (including 8-of-15 from 3-point range), and 90 percent of its free throws (18-of-20). Quincy Ford led the way with 14 points, while Reggie Spencer and Walker added 13 and 11 points, respectively. On the season, NU enjoys the CAA's second-ranked scoring offense (69.3 ppg) thanks mostly to its outstanding free-throw (.760) and 3-point (.375) percentages, both of which rank first in the conference. Joel Smith sneaks into the league's top-10 in scoring with 16.0 ppg, and he has drained 67 3-pointers at a 42.1 percent clip. Ford (13.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Spencer (10.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are both crucial frontcourt components, while Jonathan Lee scores 13.3 ppg and hands out four assists per contest.
Georgia State led by as many as 13 points in the second half of its latest game, and even though JMU came all the way back to tie things up with three minutes left, the Panthers sealed the deal by shooting 6-of-6 from the foul line down the stretch. Although it wasn't the best shooting effort for the team (.415), it was saved by its near-perfect showing at the charity stripe (17-of-18). James Vincent paced four teammates in double figures with 16 points, and he also made his presence felt in the paint with seven rebounds and three blocks. Devonta White tallied 15 points and five assists, while R.J. Hunter and Rashaad Richardson poured in 11 points apiece. GSU is fortunate to have three of the CAA's top-13 scorers in Hunter (17.1 ppg), White (14.5 ppg) and Manny Atkins (13.8 ppg), but it doesn't boast much depth behind the trio as it ranks fifth in the conference in scoring at 67.7 ppg. White ranks among the league leaders in assists (3.9 apg), and all three come up with at least 1.5 spg.
GSU has been strong on its home floor (9-6) and carries enough momentum into this meeting to pull off the upset, but Northeastern has been up to the task on the road this season (9-2), and it will be eager to clinch the outright CAA title.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 66, Georgia State 64
02/27 10:35:45 ET
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