By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Behind 18 points from Jeremy Hollowell and a season-high 17 from Isaiah Williams, Georgia State earned a 69-61 win over Arkansas State on Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena.
The pair finished 13-of-24 from the floor and knocked down all five of Georgia State’s 3-pointers to snap the Panthers four-game losing streak.
Georgia State (14-11, 7-9 Sun Belt) had lost seven of its last eight games, including two-straight at home after having lost just two home games prior to the stretch since the start of the 2013-14 season.
Despite 20 points from Devin Carter and 17 points and eight rebounds from Anthony Livingston, Arkansas State (11-16, 7-9 Sun Belt) lost for the fifth-straight time.
After shooting just 35.7 percent in the first half, Georgia State got things rolling in the second half, hitting 54.8 percent from the floor. The Panthers also held the Red Wolves to just two field goals in the final 8:55 of the game as Arkansas State hit just 32.1 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from 3-point range.
“Even during our streak of losing games, our defense has continued to play well and I thought was outstanding today,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We made some timely shots when we needed them. Our offense started to play more the way I thought it could in the second half.”
Both teams started slow, making only two of the first 11 field goals attempted before Arkansas State hit 3-pointers on three-straight possessions to take an early 13-4 lead with 14:05 to play in the opening half.
The Red Wolves built a lead to as many as nine in the first half, 15-6, but then missed 10-of-11 shots as the Panthers cut the deficit to one, 19-18, on a Jeff Thomas tip-in with 6:15 to play.
On a spinning lay-up by T.J. Shipes, Georgia State took its first lead of the half, 28-27, using a 7-0 run with 2:15remaining.
Arkansas State went into the locker room leading 31-28, despite shooting just 33 percent from the floor.
A 3-pointer by Hollowell with 18:02 to play gave Georgia State its first lead of the second half, 35-33, a lead which the Panthers never relinquished. It was part of a 7-0 run that gave Georgia State a 37-33 lead with 17:11 remaining.
Georgia State opened the second half knocking down eight of its first 12 shots and took a 45-37 lead with 14:13 to play.
On a tip-in by Livingston with 8:56 to play, Arkansas State cut Georgia State’s lead to 51-48, but that is as close as the Red Wolves could get as the Panthers pushed the lead to as many as 12 with 2:08 remaining.
Senior Kevin Ware finished with 13 points and five rebounds for Georgia State. Sean Gardner was the only other Arkansas State player in double figures, finishing with 10, while Nouhoum Bocoum just missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.