By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Georgia State men’s basketball team lost its first home contest of the season and saw its 15-game home winning streak come to an end with an 87-54 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday afternoon in a Sun Belt contest.
The loss was only the Panthers’ (11-4, 7-8, 4-2 SBC) second home defeat since the start of the 2013-14 season. Per Georgia State Athletics, it was also the biggest defeat in the Ron Hunter era and only the third loss of 20-plus points since his arrival at Georgia State.
“We got beat in every way today and that is not something we are used to in this building,” Hunter said. “They beat us in every aspect of the game and that really is all there is to it.”
Kevin Ware scored a team-high 19 points for the Panthers while Jeremy Hollowell had 14. Georgia State shot 46.5 percent from the field in the contest, making five out of 14 three-pointers.
Louisiana (7-8, 3-3 SBC) was led by a game-high 23 points and 18 rebounds from Shawn Long. Tyrone Wooten (19) and Hayward Register (15) also scored in double-figures for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana shot 49.2 percent from the field and outrebounded Georgia State 38-21. The Ragin’ Cajuns had 16 offensive rebounds alone.
The game was decided in the second half in which Louisiana outscored Georgia State 52-23 and shot 64.3 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Georgia State jumped out to an early 14-6 lead midway through the first half with Hollowell scoring eight of those points. The Panthers’ defense stifled the Ragin Cajuns’ offense as the road team missed 10 of its first 12 shots to start the game.
Louisiana mounted a comeback and a three-pointer in the right corner by Shepherd gave it a 20-18 lead with 6:40 left in the first half. The Ragin Cajuns’ continued its strong play and took a 35-31 halftime lead into the locker room.
Howell and Ware each had a team-high 10 points each in the first half for the Panthers who shot 54.5 percent from the field. Ware also had a team-high 4 rebounds.
Louisiana, which shot 35.5 percent in the first half, was led by a game-high 11 points from Shepherd while Register had nine. Long grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in the first half as the Cajuns led in that category 21-10 over Georgia State.