Georgia State Basketball: Panthers Look to Reverse Trend at Troy Saturday

February 12, 2016

Feb. 12, 2016
Contact: Mike Holmes
Phone: (404) 413-4033
Georgia State Looks to Reverse Trend at Troy Saturday

ATLANTA-Georgia State will look to get back in the win column facing last place Troy on Saturday at Trojan Arena at 5:15 p.m. ET. The Panthers have lost an uncharacteristic five of their last six games, but remain just a game and a half out of receiving a bye in the conference tournament.

Georgia State (13-9, 6-7 Sun Belt) dropped a hard fought 79-78 decision in overtime at South Alabama on Thursday. Redshirt-junior Jeremy Hollowell recorded his first career double-double with 22 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, but the Panthers could not get one of three shots to fall in the final six seconds to earn the win.

The Panthers currently sit in seventh place in the Sun Belt, but are just 1.5 games out of fourth place which would secure them a bye into the quarterfinals. The top four teams all receive a bye of the first round.

Saturday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3 and 1230 The Fan 2 with Dave Cohen, now in his 33rd year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by 680 The Fan’s Brandon Leak. Live statistics and live audio will be available at and on most mobile devices.

“After a good week of practice, I was glad to see some of the work we put in offensively come to fruition on Thursday,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “However, we made some mistakes on defense and missed too many free throws which proved to be the difference. Once again, this team is not giving up and we know that we are going to turn the corner and get this fixed.”

Despite the loss, Georgia State has a 38-13 mark in conference games since their return to the Sun Belt. The Panthers are also 60-22 in their last 82 games dating back to Dec. 14, 2013.

Georgia State has built its winning this year with defense. The Panthers are allowing opponents to score just 65.0 points per game, third in the Sun Belt and No. 34 in the country. Teams are shooting just 40.6 percent from the floor and 31.5 percent from 3-point range against the Panthers this year.

On the other end, Georgia State has turned the ball over just 267 times, 36th-fewest in the country, while forcing 320.

The Panthers are led by Hollowell who is averaging 14.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and senior Kevin Ware, scoring 13.0 points and adding 3.8 rebounds per contest.

Senior Markus Crider has stepped up as of late and is now averaging 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Last time out, he moved ahead of Chavelo Holmes and into 10th place on Georgia State’s all-time rebounding list with 509. Before the end of the season, he should established a new career games played record, as he stands just five games shy entering Saturday afternoon.

Troy (7-17, 2-11 Sun Belt) is led by Wesley Person who is averaging 16.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, along with freshman Jordon Varnado who averages 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest. The Panthers earned a 72-68 win over the Trojans last month and have won three-straight in the series.
Following Saturday’s game, Georgia State will return home to face first-place Little Rock on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., live on ESPN3.

Quick Notes

* Georgia State continues a two-game trip to Alabama facing Troy on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. ET. at Trojan Arena.

* Georgia State earned a 72-68 win over Troy last month, extending the Panthers win streak to three-straight in the series.

* Last time out, Jeremy Hollowell recorded a double-double (22 pts., 11 rebounds), but the Panthers fell to South Alabama 79-78 in OT.

* Head coach Ron Hunter (100 wins) needs just eight more wins to become the all-time winningest coach in program history.

* Georgia State’s 13-9 start is the sixth-best start in program history.

* Ironically, the Panthers started last season 15-7 (just two games better) that ended with 25 wins and in the NCAA tournament.

* At 6-7 in the Sun Belt, the Panthers enter play Saturday in seventh place, but just 1.5 games out of fourth and a first round bye.

* Since returning to the league, GSU is 38-13 in Sun Belt regular season games, going 17-1 (2013-14), 15-5 (2014-15) and 6-7 (2015-16).

* Georgia State’s 7-2 non-conference record is the third-best in program history.

* Defensively, GSU is giving up just 65.0 points per game, No. 34 in the NCAA.

* Georgia State was one of just 20 programs in the country to have won 25 or more games in each of the last two seasons.

* Georgia State is 60-22 (.732) since Dec. 14, 2013.

* Georgia State, the two-time defending Sun Belt champions, was selected to finish second this year in the conference preseason poll.
* Markus Crider and T.J. Shipes have been a part of 78 wins, just 10 shy of the school-record set just last year by Ryann Green.

[]MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
125 Decatur Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 | Office: (404) 413-4033 | Cell: (404) 259-9716 | Twitter: @GSUPanthers
* On a Georgia State campus without boundaries, the Department of Athletics fosters a Culture of Success through Academic Achievement, Competitive Greatness, Ethical Behavior, Social Responsibility, and Community Engagement that educates and transforms a diverse group of talented student-athletes into future leaders.
* Six Sun Belt titles, 15 All-America awards, 146 all-conference honors and league-leading Graduation Success Rate since 2013
* Join the #PantherFamily today to support scholarships for deserving student-athletes through the Panther Athletic Club

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