What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State opened 2018 with a 73-64 victory over Little Rock on Thursday night.
* Senior Jordan Session just missed his second double-double of the season with 11 points and nine rebounds.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds led the Panthers with 19 points, going 11-of-15 from the free throw line.
ATLANTA-With four Panthers in double figures, Georgia State earned a 73-64 win over Little Rock on Thursday night at the GSU Sports Arena.
Senior Jordan Session just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, going 4-of-5 from the floor. Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds led the team with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds, going 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Georgia State (10-6, 1-2 Sun Belt) snapped a two-game losing streak by knocking down 10 3-pointers and making 23 free throws compared to just five for the Trojans.
Little Rock (4-12, 1-2 Sun Belt) was led by Camron Reedus who came off the bench to score 19 points, going 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
“Our post play gave us some really good energy tonight,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Jordan Tyson came in and gave us some great effort off the bench and Jordan Session just missed a double-double. I didn’t like the way we handled the ball, but we made up for it by doing some of the little things in a game we needed to win.”
Tyson played just 10 minutes, but scored six points, recorded a big block on his first possession in the game and came away with a steal.
Little Rock took an early 6-3 lead making its first three shots before the Panthers started to heat up from 3-point range.
Trailing 8-6, Georgia State used an 8-0 run including 3-pointers from Mitchell and Thomas to build a 14-6 lead with 12:29 remaining in the opening half.
Little Rock responded with a 10-2 run to tie the game 16-16 with 10:00 minutes remaining, but Georgia State continued to stay hot from 3-point range as Little Rock went a stretch of missing 10 of 11 shots.
The Panthers used a 7-0 run to build a 30-23 lead with 2:53 and as Benlevi hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, Georgia State went into the locker room with a 35-31 lead.
Georgia State went 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half and shot 50.0 percent from the
Georgia State continued to lead throughout the second half, pushing the margin to 48-41 with 10:42 to play, holding Little Rock scoreless for more than five minutes.
Little Rock cut Georgia State’s lead to just one, 53-52, with 6:39 to play, before Thomas scored on a fast break lay-up and was fouled, putting the Panthers back up 56-52 with 5:22 remaining.
The Trojans never
Jaizec Lottie added 10 points for the Trojans who turned the ball over 16
Junior Malik Benlevi filled up the stats line once again, finishing with five points, six rebounds, four blocked shots, two steals and two assists. Freshman Kane Williams made his first career start and finished with four points.
Georgia State will remain at home and face Arkansas State on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena live on WatchESPN/ESPN3.