March 3, 2001 – This was the day GSU cut
down the conference championship nets on its home court and earned its NCAA
Tournament bid. The rowdy full house announced at 4,028 cheered all game long
as GSU romped to a 79-55 championship win on ESPN-TV. Fittingly, GSU set a school record with 16
3-point baskets against a Troy State team known for its run-and-shoot 3-point
offense. Thomas Terrell’s 17 points and 10 rebounds helped lead the onslaught,
with guard Kevin Morris pouring in 18 points with seven assists. With senior Shernard Long also had a
double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The 28-4 Panthers would now wait
for Selection Sunday to find out their NCAA foe. Defense did win this
championship as GSU allowed 57, 56 and 55 points in its three tournament games.
March 3, 2002 – One year later, GSU saw
its bid for back-to-back titles end at the wire in a 76-75 loss to Florida
Atlantic in the Conference Tournament played in Orlando on ESPN-TV. With 10 ties and 13 lead changes, this
hard-fought title game saw GSU lead for more than two-thirds of the game, but
FAU made the play with six seconds left to claim the one-point win as GSU’s
final shot bounced off the rim. Thomas Terrell was the Tournament MVP with80 points and 30 rebounds in the three games.