ATLANTA-Facing the first of a minimum four 2018 NCAA Tournament teams this season, Georgia State will travel more than halfway across the country to face Montana on Friday night at 9 p.m. ET, at Dahlberg Arena.
Georgia State (1-0) and Montana (0-0), considered two of the top mid-major programs in the country, met last season in Atlanta in the first of a home-and-home series. The Panthers earned a 71-68 victory in that game as Jeff Thomas just missed a double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds.
It was Thomas who opened the 2018-19 season with a career-high 26 points on Tuesday night as the Panthers topped East Tennessee State 74-68 in the GSU Sports Arena.
Friday’s contest can be heard live on WAOK-AM 1380 and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Sam Crenshaw calling the action. The game will also air live on SWX Montana and Pluto TV with Shaun Rainey and Ryan Tootell calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year D’Marcus Simonds opened the season with 21 points on Tuesday night moving him into 14th place on Georgia State’s all-time scoring list. He needs just 25 points on Friday to move into a tie for 13th.
Thomas, who is currently No. 8 in school history with 147 3-pointers, will play in his 100th career game on Friday night. He could set the school’s games played
“After a hard-fought win on Tuesday night, we turn right around with an equally if not tougher opponent on Friday night,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Montana is a very good team and could be the second-straight opponent we play that makes the NCAA Tournament this year. I feel like some of our guys had some first game jitters on Tuesday, but we should be over those and ready to play.”
Georgia State has gone 148-85 in Hunter’s seven-plus seasons, the most wins during any seven-year stretch in program history. He was inducted into the Miami University Cradle of Coaches last month.
- The Panthers improved to 8-0 in regular season home openers under head coach Ron Hunter and have won 11-straight openers in the GSU Sports Arena.
- The Panthers are looking to improve to 2-0 for the third time in four seasons.
- Georgia State is currently ranked No. 12 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, while Montana is No. 16.
- This will be the third meeting between the two schools with each winning on its home court.
- Since returning to the Sun Belt Conference for the 2013-14 season, Georgia State has finished in the top two in the Sun Belt standings four times in five years.
- Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 111 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.
Following Friday night’s game, Georgia State will return home to face in-state rival Mercer on Tuesday at the GSU Sports Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 404-413-4020 or by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix.