The Sports Inquirer spoke with Georgia State men’s basketball player Jalen Thomas in an exclusive interview Jan. 7. Topics with the sophomore post player from Detroit, Michigan included his return to the lineup, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the Panthers’ 70-62 win at Coastal Carolina Jan. 2, the Panthers adjusting to playing consecutive Sun Belt Conference in two days, the recruitment process to Georgia State, finding comfort on the court as a sophomore and Georgia State preparing to visit Troy in conference play Jan. 8.
The Sports Inquirer spoke with Georgia State women’s basketball head coach Gene Hill for an exclusive interview Jan. 5. Topics included the team’s suspending activities due to Covid-19, the cancellation of its home match against Coastal Carolina Jan. 1, how the team has returned to training, the form of player Taylor Hosendove and preparing to begin Sun Belt Conference play Jan. 8 at home against Troy University.
Release from Georgia State Athletics:
Using a balanced scoring attack and shooting 62 percent from the floor, Georgia State cruised to a 75-64 win over Troy on Saturday at Trojan Arena. The Panthers secured their 20th win for the third time in four seasons under head coach Ron Hunter and for the sixth-time this century.
All nine Panthers who played scored, led by Ryan Harrow who finished with 17 points and four assists. Junior Markus Crider was the only other Panther to score in double figures, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Georgia State (20-9, 13-5 Sun Belt) will enter the final week of the regular season controlling its own destiny in the Sun Belt standings. If the Panthers win at UL Monroe on Thursday and defeat Georgia Southern in the regular season finale in the GSU Sports Arena next Saturday, Georgia State will repeat as conference champions and be the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt tournament in New Orleans.
With the win, the Panthers are 42-12 in their last 54 games dating back to last season and own a 30-6 mark in conference games since returning to the league.
Troy (10-18, 5-14 Sun Belt) was officially eliminated from the conference tournament with the loss despite 19 points from senior Musa Abdul-Aleem.
Georgia State’s balanced scoring attack included nine points from T.J. Shipes, eight points each from Ryann Green, R.J. Hunter and Kevin Ware, along with six points from Curtis Washington.
“I was proud of the way our team really focused in and came out with the defensive intensity that we need to play with,” Hunter said. “To go along with that, to be able to pick up win No. 20 is special. That is a special number in college basketball and to be able to do it for the third time in four years shows the type of program that we are trying to build here at Georgia State.”
Georgia State took an early 17-11 lead midway through the first half before going on a 9-0 run to build a 26-11 lead with 7:32 to play. Troy responded with a 7-0 run of its own to cut the lead to eight, but never got closer the remainder of the game.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 7-0 run to lead 46-25 with 17:04 to play. Georgia State pushed the lead to as many as 23 with 9:43 to play before Troy finally closed the gap in the final seconds.
The 62 percent shooting mark ranks just outside the top 10 best marks for a single-game in school history and was the third time this season Georgia State has shot better than 60 percent in a game.
Wesley Person was the only other Trojan to finish in double figures, finishing with 12 points.
Hunter made his 92nd career start, tying him with Zavian Smith for the fourth-most in Georgia State history. He added four rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots in the win.