By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Despite a double-double from Markus Crider and 22 points from Jeremy Hollowell, Georgia State fell to Troy 54-53 on Saturday afternoon at Trojan Arena.
Georgia State (13-10, 6-8 Sun Belt) led by four, 53-49, with under a minute to play, but a 3-pointer by Troy’s Wesley Person and a lay-up by John Walton III secured the win as a pair of last second shots did not fall for the Panthers.
It marked the second-straight one-point loss for the Panthers who have now lost six of the last seven games.
Crider recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The senior had one last shot attempt that didn’t fall at the buzzer. Hollowell scored 22 points for the second-straight game and grabbed five rebounds.
Troy (8-17, 3-11 Sun Belt) was led by Walton III who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Person added 14 points, knocking down 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
“This is a tough one to swallow,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We made a couple of nice plays down the stretch, but then allowed them to knock down shots on back-to-back possessions. This has been a tough road trip with back-to-back one-point losses, but this team has shown the ability to bounce back all season and we will get after it again next week.”
Tied 7-7, Georgia State took an early 13-7 lead has Hollowell scored the Panthers first five points of the game.
Troy’s defense stepped up, holding the Panthers without a field goal for eight minutes before a Hollowell lay-up with 4:28 to play. During the run, the Trojans could not build a lead bigger than three points as the Panthers knocked down four free throws.
Georgia State went into the locker room trailing 24-23 after shooting just 31.0 percent, but holding Troy to 28.0 percent. The Panthers turned 10 Troy turnovers into nine points in the opening 20 minutes.
Trailing by one early in the second half, Troy responded with a 9-0 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 33-25 lead with 17:35to play.
A Hollowell 3-pointer with 14:15 to play cut Troy’s lead to 38-35 with 14:15 to play.
Trailing 48-43 with 8:50 to play, Georgia State held Troy without a field goal for more than five minutes as Georgia State took a 50-49 lead following a 3-point by Isaiah Williams with 3:00 to play. Crider added a basket and a free throw to give the Panthers a four point lead with 2:26 remaining in the game.
Crider played in his 122nd game, tying him with Trae Golston for third on the school’s all-time list.
Freshman Austin Donaldson played a career-high 20 minutes, swiping five steals and grabbing three rebounds.
Neither team shot well from the floor as the Panthers finished at 34.5 percent with Troy shooting just a bit better at 37.8 percent. Despite forcing 17 turnovers, Georgia State went just 13-of-22 from the free throw line.