FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 10, 2016
Contact: Mike Holmes
Phone: (404) 413-4033
Georgia State Opens Alabama Trip at South Alabama Thursday
ATLANTA-Georgia State will open a two-game swing in Alabama on Thursday facing South Alabama at the Mitchell Center at 8 p.m. ET. The Panthers have won six-straight games in the series with the Jaguars that dates back to 1976.
Georgia State (13-8, 6-6 Sun Belt) dropped a tough 90-69 decision to UT Arlington the last time out, just the Panthers third loss at home since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Panthers currently sit tied for sixth place in the Sun Belt, but remain just one game out of third place with eight games to play. The 13-8 mark is tied for the fifth-best 21-game start in program history.
Thursday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3 and WRAS-FM 88.5 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 GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
Head coach Ron Hunter secured his 100th win at Georgia State last Thursday to become just the third coach to reach the mark. He is now just seven wins shy of Bob Reinhart who holds the school record of 107 wins.
“We have had a great week of practice and I expect us to come out hungry to play on Thursday night,” Hunter said. “There is no quit in this team and they know that all of our goals are still in front of us. There is still a lot of basketball to play and a lot can happen between now and March.”
Georgia State has a 38-12 mark in conference games since their return to the Sun Belt. The Panthers are also 60-21 in their last 81 games dating back to Dec. 14, 2013 and have won 19-of-28 games dating back to last season.
Georgia State has built its winning this year with defense. The Panthers are allowing opponents to score just 64.4 points per game, third in the Sun Belt and No. 29 in the country. Teams are shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor and 31.2 percent from 3-point range against the Panthers this year.
On the other end, Georgia State has turned the ball over just 254 times, 36th-fewest in the country, while forcing 301.
The Panthers are led by redshirt-junior Jeremy Hollowell who is averaging 14.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and senior Kevin Ware, scoring 12.9 points and adding 3.9 rebounds per contest.
Senior Markus Crider has stepped up as of late and is now averaging 8.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Last time out, he recorded his 500th career rebound, becoming just the 11th Panther to reach the milestone. Before the end of the season, he should established a new career games played record, as he stands just six games shy entering Thursday night.
South Alabama (9-14, 4-8 Sun Belt) is led by Ken Williams who is averaging 14.3 points and 3.3 assists per game. Georgi Boyanov is adding 11.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest. The Panthers earned a 70-55 win over the Jaguars last month in the GSU Sports Arena.
Following Thursday’s game, Georgia State will remain in Alabama and face Troy on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. ET.
Quick Notes (Game notes attached)
* Georgia State opens a two-game trip to Alabama facing South Alabama on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. at the Mitchell Center.
* Georgia State earned a 70-55 win over South Alabama last month, extending the Panthers win streak to six-straight in the series.
* In the first match-up, Jeremy Hollowell scored a team-high 23 points, while Kevin Ware chipped in with 20 points.
* Head coach Ron Hunter (100 wins) needs just eight more wins to become the all-time winningest coach in program history.
* Georgia State’s 13-8 start is tied for the fifth-best start in program history.
* Ironically, the Panthers started last season 14-7 (just one game better) that ended with 25 wins and in the NCAA tournament.
* At 6-6 in the Sun Belt, the Panthers enter play Saturday tied for sixth place, but just one game out of third place.
* Since returning to the league, GSU is 38-12 in Sun Belt regular season games, going 17-1 (2013-14), 15-5 (2014-15) and 6-6 (2015-16).
* Georgia State’s 7-2 non-conference record is the third-best in program history.
* Defensively, GSU is giving up just 64.4 points per game, No. 29 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 60-21 (.741) 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.