Day: January 30, 2015

Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague Named Eastern Conference All-Stars

atlanta hawks logoRelease by Atlanta Hawks Media Relations:

Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague have been selected by the Eastern Conference coaches to the All-Star team, and will compete in the 2015 All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. This marks the first time since 1980 that the Hawks have had three All-Stars.

“It is an honor for our entire organization to have Al, Paul and Jeff selected to play on the All-Star stage,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, who will serve as head coach of the Eastern Conference squad. “The recognition is well-deserved for each of them. We are very proud of the guys, and also want to acknowledge the rest of our players and coaches for their roles in helping our players reach this accomplishment.”

Horford, an All-Star for the third time (also 2010 and 2011), is averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.5 minutes (.551 FG%, .750 FT%), having played in 44 contests. He ranks ninth in the NBA in FG%, 17th in assist-turnover ratio (2.77), 18th in FGM (300) and t20th in bpg. Horford owns eight double-doubles and recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points on 8-10 shooting, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes at Philadelphia on Jan. 13. He was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice this season, for games played 12/15-12/21 and for 1/12-1/18.

“I feel honored to represent the Hawks and the city of Atlanta again,” Horford said. ”I want to give credit to our coaches and my teammates, as I know I wouldn’t be in this position without their support. I look forward to enjoying the time in New York and being a part of All-Star.”

Making his second consecutive All-Star appearance, Millsap is putting in team-bests of 17.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals to go along with 3.2 assists in 33.3 minutes in 45 games (all starts), hitting .487 FGs, .364 3FGs and .753 FTs. He ranks 12th in the league in spg, t22nd in FTM (175), 24th in rpg and 36th in ppg. He is also seventh in the NBA in +/- radio (+331). He has scored in double-figures 42 times, including 12 20-point nights, and has 11 double-doubles.

“It’s a privilege to be an All-Star for the second straight year,” Millsap said. “I know the success our team has had so far this season is a major factor, so my teammates and coaches are the reason that I have this opportunity. I’m proud to be representing them in New York.”

In his sixth season, all with the Hawks, Teague is headed to the All-Star game for the first time. In 42 games this season (41 starts), he’s compiled 17.0 points, 7.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 31.3 minutes (.470 FG%, .331 3FG%, .866 FT%). Teague is sixth in the NBA in apg, 11th in spg, 14th in FT%, 15th in assist-turnover ratio (2.86), t22nd in FTM (175) and 36th in ppg. He has scored in double-digits 34 times, with 19 20-point outings, and has nine games with 10-or-more assists. Teague was the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played 12/29-1/4.

“I’d like to thank the Eastern Conference coaches,” Teague said. “Being named to the All-Star team means a lot to me and to my family, and I’m going to truly enjoy the entire experience. I’m only as successful as the team, so my teammates and coaches share in this honor.”

The Hawks are currently a Conference-best 38-8 (.826) and on a franchise record 17-game win streak (15-0 in January). Atlanta is 31-2 (.939) over the last 33 contests, and are 30 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Atlanta is the fifth team in the last 20 seasons to win 38 of their first 46 games.

Hunter, Harrow Combine for 57, Georgia State Tops UT Arlington 88-74

Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter (22)Photo credit: Georgia State Athletics
Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter (22)
Photo credit: Georgia State Athletics

Release from Georgia State Athletics:

Georgia State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit as R.J. Hunter scored 32 points and Ryan Harrow added 25 to lead the Panthers  an 88-74 win over UT Arlington on Thursday night at the College Park Center.

Trailing 62-51 with a little more than 11 minutes to play, Georgia State responded with a 29-4 run to take an 80-69 lead with 3:02 to play and never look back.

Hunter got hot in the second half, knocking down six of his seven 3-pointers and finished 9-of-16 from the floor, 7-of-11 from 3-point range and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and a pair of steals.

Harrow was equally impressive going 9-of-19 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, dishing out four assists and swiping four of the Panthers eight steals. He is now just five points shy of becoming just the fifth Panther to score 1,000 points in a GSU uniform. If he accomplishes it Saturday, it will occur in just 54 games, the second-quickest in program history.

Georgia State (14-7, 7-3 Sun Belt) won its third-straight game to remaining a half-game out of first-place in the league. The Panthers are 36-10 in the last 46 games dating back to last season and have also won 24 of their first 28 conference games since returning to the Sun Belt. The squad is off to the fourth-best start in school history.

Head coach Ron Hunter picked up the 350th win of his career and 76th at the helm of Georgia State.

The Panthers finished 25-of-27 from the free throw line, the 11th-best mark in program history, and shot 50.9 percent for the game, including 16-of-29 in the second half.

UT Arlington (12-8, 6-4 Sun Belt) saw its three-game win streak come to an end and was swept in the season series by the Panthers for the second year in a row. Kevin Hervey led the Mavericks with 21 points and eight rebounds.

“In the second half, we came out defensively and really played the type of ball that we have been playing as of late,” Hunter said. “Ryan and R.J. really took over the game in the second half and played like two of the best players in the league.

“R.J. has been waiting for a game like this where he could really get into a rhythm and couldn’t miss in the second half. Ryan was equally impressive and played smart basketball. Everyone gave us great play on defense in the second half and that was the difference.”

As the two teams were tied five times in the first half with neither squad leading by more than six, UT Arlington led 30-24 with 5:43 to play benefiting from 51.7 percent first half shooting.

The Panthers responded with a 10-4 run, capped by a jumper in the lane and free throw by Hunter to tie the score 34-34. The Mavericks went into the half leading 38-34.

The Mavericks took their biggest lead of the game, 62-51, with 11:10 to play before Georgia State’s run and took its first lead of the second half on a pair of free throws by Ryann Green to go ahead 69-67 with 5:57 to play.

Junior Markus Crider added eight points for the Panthers, while Green recorded five points and five rebounds. Kevin Ware, who missed the first half for a violation of team rules, added five second-half points.

Lonnie McClanahan scored 14 points for the Mavericks and Jorge Bilbao added 11 points and five rebounds.

UT Arlington was held to just 41.9 percent shooting in the second half and the second-best 3-point shooting team in the Sun Belt was held to just 5-of-23 from beyond the arc.

KSU men’s basketball falls at North Florida, 86-67

kennesaw state logo

Release from Kennesaw State Athletics:

The Kennesaw State men’s basketball team lost to the North Florida Ospreys in front of an energetic crowd, 86-67.

“It was a tale of two halves,” head coach Jimmy Lallathin said. “I was very happy with our execution and energy in the second half. In the first half, we just couldn’t get the stops to stop the bleeding. In the second half, we got some stops and were able to get out in transition and get some easy baskets. I’m happy with our second half performance, but it’s not a 20-minute game. We’ll have to put 40 minutes together for a great opportunity on Saturday against Jacksonville.”

The Owls had five players reach double figures in scoring with Nigel Pruitt and Damien Wilson leading the team with 14.

All of Yonel Brown’s 13 points came in the second half, and Willy Kouassi was one rebound away from having a double-double as he had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Orlando Coleman was the other Kennesaw State player in double figures with 12.

Facing a 25-point deficit at halftime, the Owls responded in the second half and came out with a lot of energy. KSU’s hustle in the second half led them to outscoring UNF 44-38.

Halfway through the second half, the Owls cut the lead to 18 with a 14-3 run, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the way.

North Florida built their lead in the opening frame behind strong defense and sharp shooting from the outside.