What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State earned a 71-58 win over Appalachian State on Thursday night at the Holmes Center.
* Junior Jeff Thomas scored a career-high 22 points while pulling down eight rebounds.
* The Panthers improved to 12-6, tied for the third-best start in program history.


BOONE, N.C.-Led by a career-high 22 points from junior Jeff Thomas, Georgia State earned a 71-58 win over Appalachian State on Thursday evening at the Holmes Convocation Center.

Thomas finished as one of five Panthers in double figures going 9-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He added a team-high eight rebounds in the win.

Georgia State (12-6, 3-2 Sun Belt) won for the third-straight time and snapped a four-game losing streak at Appalachian State (8-10, 3-2 Sun Belt). The Mountaineers were held to just 35.6 percent shooting and turned the ball over 14 times.

At 12-6, the Panthers are off to the third-best 18-game start to a season in program history.

Junior Devin Mitchell added 13 points, while D’Marcus Simonds, Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams each scored 11 points. Simonds and Session each pulled down six boards while Simonds dished out five assists. The Panthers shot 47.5 percent from the floor.

“That was a big-time win for us,” head coach Ron Hunter. “We got back to playing the type of championship defense that we are accustomed to. We spread the ball around which led to balanced scoring. Just really proud of the guys for the way they played tonight.”

Trailing 10-7, Georgia State used an early 9-0 run to lead 16-10 with 11:57 to play and never trailed again.

Minutes later the Panthers used a 10-0 run to push the lead to 26-13 with 7:24 to play. The Mountaineers cut Georgia State’s lead to 30-26 before the Panthers finished the half on a 9-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Isaiah Williams as the buzzer sounded.

Georgia State shot 47.1 percent in the opening half, holding the Mountaineers to 9-of-29 shooting and 10 turnovers which led to 18 GSU points.

Appalachian State opened the second half with an 8-0 run to cut Georgia State’s lead to 39-34 with 16:05 to play.

A 3-pointer by Thomas pushed Georgia State’s lead back to double figures 46-35 with 13:00 minutes remaining, before the Mountaineers made one last run.

App State used a 7-0 run to cut Georgia State’s lead to 48-42 with 8:11 to play, but the Panthers immediately responded with an 8-0 run capped by a Jordan Session putback to push the lead to 56-42 with 6:34 remaining

The Mountaineers were led by Ronshad Shabazz who scored 15 points, while Isaac Johnson just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Panthers outscored the Mountaineers 38-24 in the paint, while also outrebounding App State 40-34.

Junior Malik Benlevi once again filled up the box score with three points, three assists, four blocked shots and three steals.

Georgia State will conclude a trip to the Carolinas facing Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C., on Saturday. Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. live on WatchESPN/ESPN3.