We attended the postgame presser of Georgia State men’s basketball head coach Ron Hunter following his team’s 82-69 home win over Arkansas-Little Rock on Jan. 3. Topics included the Panthers’ offense along with the efforts of guards Kevin Ware and R.J. Hunter.
Shooting 57.7 percent in the first half and 54.7 percent for the game, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock rolled to a 75-55 win over Georgia State in Sun Belt women’s basketball at the GSU Sports Arena Saturday afternoon.
Junior guard Alexius Dawn was the main sparkplug with 21 points on 8 of 11 field goals that included 5 of 8 3-point baskets, while making six assists. Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year Taylor Gaultadded 21 points as well. UALR (9-2, 2-0), sitting at No. 38 in RPI, took advantage of Georgia State’s foul trouble to also post a 34-29 rebound advantage.
Host Georgia State (6-5, 1-1) shot just 19 of 54 field goals (35.2%) and made just 3 of 15 3-point shots. Only Alisha Andrews was able to score in double figures with 11 points and a pair of treys.
The Panthers had been riding the crest of 6-foot-4 center Brittany Logan’s four consecutive double-doubles and six consecutive double-figure rebounding games. Today, she was whistled with two offensive fouls before four minutes had been played and spent the rest of the half on the bench. When Logan returned in the second half, she scored six quick points and grabbed three rebounds in five minutes before getting the third foul. Once again, she exited to the bench. When she returned for another minute, she was whistled for her third offensive foul and fourth overall, then drew a technical foul for her fifth foul and her day was over in less than 11 minutes.
UALR started the game making all six of its first shots in building a 13-4 lead at 15:12. The smallest player on the court, 4-foot-11 Andrews hit a three-point basket and another jumper to held GSU back to a 17-17 tie at 10:45.
When freshman Kennesha Nichols scored at 9:01, that basket gave Georgia State its only lead of the game at 19-17. A pair of treys from UALR’s Dawn ignited a run that saw the Trojans finish the half on a 22-7 over the last nine minutes. During that stretch, GSU had a technical foul on Coach Baldwin-Tener as well. UALR shot 15 of 26 field goals in that first half, while GSU was just 9 of 30.
In the second half, Georgia State could never get the margin under 10 points. The Panthers closed to 41-30 at 18:55 and were down 12 points at 59-47 at 9:03 and Andrews’ trey was off the rim that could have cut it to nine points. About a minute later, Logan got her technical and fifth foul and UALR re-built the margin to 22 points at 69-47 at the 7-minute mark.
”UALR is obviously a good basketball team and we have to shoot the ball better to win games like this,” coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “Some of the calls probably effected how we played and we’ll learn to respond and to play through the adversity. We have been rebounding well all season, but we couldn’t do that today without Logan’s help. Our defense was poor today as well, as evidenced by their shooting percentage.”
Behind a career-high 21 points from Kevin Ware and a game-high 22 points from Ryan Harrow, the Georgia State men’s basketball team won its Sun Belt Conference home opener on Saturday with a 82-69 win over Arkansas-Little Rock at the GSU Arena in Atlanta.
Georgia State (9-4, 2-0 Sun Belt) extended its home court winning streak to 18 games and have now won 31 of its last 38 games dating back to last season. The 9-4 start is tied for the third-best 13-game start in program history.
The Panthers have also won 19 of their first 20 conference games since returning to the Sun Belt last season.
Arkansas-Little Rock (5-7, 0-2 Sun Belt) have now dropped its last two contests.
Georgia State shot for 55.1 percent from the field in the victory, making six out of 14 three-pointers. The Panthers were also strong on the free-throw line, making 22 out of 30 attempts. Georgia State had 13 steals in the contest along with three blocks.
R.J. Hunter was held to three points in the first half but finished the contest with 14 points. He has now moved ahead of Devonta White into third-place on Georgia State’s all-time scoring list with 1,394 points.
UALR finished the contest with a 42.3 shooting percentage, making 12 of 30 three-pointers. James Reid and Ben Dillard each scored a team-high 14 points for the Trojans.
The Panthers, holding a 49-48 lead with 11:55 left in the contest, proceeded to go on a 20-7 run to control the game.
“UALR did a great job of throwing some defenses at us that we have not seen,” Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter said. “It took our guys a little bit of time to figure it out, when we did, we were able to utilize Kevin Ware who had a great game for us.
“Kevin’s confidence was really high today. He got some early open shots to fall and was able to continue that all game. We have known that play like that was coming, it was just a matter of time.”
Ware came into the contest in the first minute to replace Panthers’ starter Ryann Green who took an accidental elbow to the mouth which dislodged a tooth. Green didn’t return to the game.
Harrow had a game-high 15 first half points for the Panthers while Ware scored 10 points. Overall, Georgia State shot 58.3 percent from the field in the first half, making four of seven three-pointer attempts. RJ Hunter attempted only two shots in the first half, making one three-pointer for three points.
Reid scored a team-high nine points for Arkansas-Little Rock in the first half. The Trojans shot 44 percent and made five of 12 three-pointers in the first half.
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