What You Need to Know:
* Troy overcame a 19-point second half deficit to top Georgia State on Sunday afternoon 68-66.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds led the Panthers with 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
* The Panthers knocked down 11 3-pointers and turned the ball over a season-low six times, but went more than 11 minutes in the second half without a field goal to allow Troy to mount its comeback.
TROY, Ala.-Troy overcame a 19-point second half deficit to top Georgia State 68-66 on Sunday afternoon at Trojan Arena. A last-second 3-pointer by Devin Mitchell was just off the mark as the Panthers dropped a second-straight game on the road.
Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds led the Panthers with 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists, but Georgia State (9-6, 0-2 Sun Belt) went more than 11 minutes without a field goal in the second half, allowing Troy (7-8, 1-1 Sun Belt) to mount its comeback.
After scoring 15 points in the first half, junior Jeff Thomas was held scoreless in the second half. Senior Jordan Session added 12 points, five rebounds
Alex Hicks garnered a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds for Troy, while Jordon Varnado scored a team-high 15 points.
“This is a tough loss, there is no doubt about it,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We had them right
Georgia State pushed its lead to 19 points with 16:17 to play in the game before Troy started to mount its comeback.
The Panthers led 52-36 before Troy used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 52-43 with 11:09 to play. Holding Georgia State without a field goal from 12:39 to 3:18 remaining in the game, Troy retook the lead 57-56 with 5:37 to play. It was part of a 13-0 Trojan run that gave Troy the lead 61-56 with 4:12 to play.
However, the Panthers responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Mitchell and Simonds to retake the lead 62-61 with 2:30 to play and appeared to be in control.
Georgia State still led 66-64 with one minute to play before a Varnado lay-up with 38 seconds to play tied the game. After a missed 3-pointer by Simonds, B.J. Miller drove down the court and was fouled with 4.7 seconds to play. Miller made both free throws to finish with five points and six assists.
Georgia State dominated the first half. After Troy scored the first basket, Georgia State responded with an 8-0 run to take an early 8-3 lead with 15:36 to play in the first half.
Thomas played his hot hand, scoring seven of Georgia State’s first 10 points.
After Troy responded with a 7-0 run to take a 12-10 lead with 11:15 to play, the Panthers responded with a 7-0 run of their own capped by a thunderous dunk from Simonds to go up 17-12 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Still leading by five points, Georgia State used a 9-0 run to build a 31-17 lead with just under four minutes remaining and would go into the locker room leading 34-24.
Georgia State knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half and forced Troy into 10 turnovers which led to 11 points.
Junior Malik Benlevi added nine points and five rebounds for Georgia State which knocked down 11 3-pointers, but shot just 40.7 percent from the floor.
The Panthers held Troy to just 29.2 percent shooting from 3-point
Georgia State will return home to face Little Rock on Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena live on WatchESPN/ESPN3.