What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State topped Texas State 54-50 to win for the seventh-straight time on Saturday afternoon.
* The Panthers finished the month of January 7-0. It was the first undefeated month since January 2014.
* With the win, the Panthers moved into second-place in the Sun Belt standings.
ATLANTA-D’Marcus Simonds scored 20 points and Jeff Thomas just missed a double-double as Georgia State outlasted Texas State 54-50 on Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena to win for the seventh-straight time.
Thomas finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, knocking down a pair of big 3-pointers to open the second half.
Simonds scored in double figures for the 39th-straight game, going 8-of-13 from the floor and making four-straight free throws in the final 20 seconds of the game to secure the win.
Georgia State (16-6, 7-2 Sun Belt) finished the month of January undefeated at 7-0. The last time the Panthers went undefeated in a month was January 2014. At 16-6, the Panthers are off to the second-best start to a season in program history and with the win moved into second-place in the Sun Belt standings.
Texas State (14-9, 7-3 Sun Belt) was led by Immanuel King who just missed a double-double with nine points and 13 rebounds. However, the Bobcats were held to 35.1 percent shooting and just 2-of-16 from 3-point range.
“I have been concerned about this game for a while as I knew we were going to be coming off a pair of very emotional games,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We knew Texas State is a really good team, but I didn’t know how we would react emotionally. Our guys grinded it out and made shots down the stretch when we needed them which is truly all I can ask.”
Georgia State controlled the first six minutes of the game taking an early 8-0 lead as the Bobcats missed their first seven shots.
Trailing 13-6, Texas State used an 8-0 run to take a 14-13 lead with 5:45 to play in the first half while holding Georgia State scoreless for more than five minutes.
The two teams changed leads three times over the final five minutes of the opening half as the Bobcats went into the locker room with a 23-21 lead despite shooting just 27.6 percent.
Following the halftime adjustments, Thomas opened the second half with a 3-pointer to give the Panthers the lead 24-23.
Trailing 30-28, Thomas hit another 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 Georgia State run to give the Panthers a 38-30 lead with 12:25 to play.
The Bobcats trailed by six points before using a 7-0 run to take a 43-42 lead with 6:39 to play.
However, Georgia State finished the game strong after trailing 48-44 with 3:50 to play. Following a Simonds lay-up to cut the deficit to two with 3:36 remaining, the Panthers did not get the ball back until 1:33 to play as the Bobcats missed multiple shots and got offensive rebounds each time.
The Panthers went on an 8-0 run and took a 52-48 lead with 20 seconds to play after a pair of free throws by Simonds. After a lay-up by Nedeljko Prijovic got Texas State within two points, Simonds made another two free throws to secure the win.
Nijal Pearson led Texas State with 12 points, while Shelby Adams added six points, five assists, and four steals.
Georgia State will open a two-game road trip to Arkansas facing Arkansas State on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.