ATLANTA-Looking to bounce back from a tough two-game road trip in Louisiana, Georgia State will host Troy on Wednesday night in the GSU Sports Arena at 7 p.m. The Panthers are 9-1 at home this season and 67-11 on Decatur Street over the last five-plus seasons.
Georgia State (16-8, 7-4 Sun Belt) stands in third place in the league standings entering Wednesday night and will look to top Troy (11-12, 4-7 Sun Belt) which snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday against Arkansas State.
Wednesday’s contest can be heard live on WAOK-AM 1380 and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 36th year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by former Panther Lamont McIntosh calling the action. The game will also air live on ESPN+ with Sam Crenshaw and Rodney Turner calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
The Trojans have won four of the last five in the series with the Panthers, including a 77-75 victory in Troy last month as Jordan Varnado knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds to play.
Five members of Georgia State’s line-up are averaging in double figures, while defensively the Panthers rank the top 20 in blocked shots per game. Georgia State has made 231 3-pointers, ranked No. 31 in the nation after setting a school and conference record with 323 last year.
“Our team is facing some adversity right now, but rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we are working hard to get back to our winning ways,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We have had a couple of great days of practice and are excited to get back out on the court Wednesday night.”
Since returning from injury, senior Devin Mitchell has shown why he is one of the best shooters in the country. After missing the first seven games, Mitchell has returned to average 14.0 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from 3-point range. He has made 60 3-pointers in 17 games this season after knocking down 98 treys last year.
Junior D’Marcus Simonds, the 2017-18 Sun Belt Player of the Year, is sixth in the league averaging 19.0 points per game. He stands in second-place on Georgia State’s all-time scoring list with 1,587 points after scoring 19 against Louisiana. He is just 233 points shy of R.J. Hunter from becoming the all-time career points leader in program history. His career scoring averaging of 18.0 points per game ranks No. 18 among all active NCAA players.
Senior Malik Benlevi, who has knocked down a 50 3-pointers, is averaging 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Senior Jeff Thomas is adding 11.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest and has knocked down 48 3-pointers this season.
Freshman Nelson Phillips rounds out the starting line-up after making his first career start against Louisiana last Friday. He finished the game with 14 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Kane Williams, who has come off the bench the last four games, is averaging 10.7 points and 3.5 assists per game.
- Georgia State’s 16-8 start to the season is tied for the fourth-best 24-game start in program history.
- Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won more games (126) than any other NCAA Division I team in the state of Georgia.
- Jeff Thomas (192/t4th), Devin Mitchell (192/t4th) and Malik Benlevi (158/10th) all rank among Georgia State career top 10 in 3-point field goals made.
Following Wednesday’s game, Georgia State will remain at home and host South Alabama on Friday night at 7 p.m.