MONROE, La.-A pair of late 3-pointers by Daishon Smith led UL Monroe to an 82-76 win over Georgia State on Wednesday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Smith finished with a game-high 36 points as the Warhawks snapped the Panthers two-game winning streak.
Georgia State (16-7, 7-3 Sun Belt) was led by junior D’Marcus Simonds who scored 18 points and dished out six assists, while senior Devin Mitchell scored 15.
ULM (12-10, 5-5 Sun Belt) snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 10-1 at home this season. The Warhawks went 21-of-24 from the free throw line, while the Panthers managed to go just 7-of-10.
“Obviously we are disappointed by the loss,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Winning on the road in this league is tough and we didn’t take advantage of enough opportunities tonight to come away with a win. When we took the lead with about two minutes left, we needed to get a defensive stop and were just not able to get one.”
After battling back and forth the first six minutes, Georgia State took a 17-13 lead with 13:20 to play in the first half before ULM responded with an 8-0 run to build a four-point lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
The Warhawks pushed the lead to 28-21 with 7:00 minutes to play before the Panthers responded on a steal and fastbreak lay-up by Kane Williams, cutting ULM’s lead to just 33-32 with just under three minutes to play.
ULM responded again with the next five points and eventually went into the locker room leading 40-34 after shooting 48.3 percent in the first half.
On a steal and dunk by Simonds, the Panthers tied the game 49-49 with 13:28 to play. After the Warhawks retook the lead, Georgia State responded and on a steal by senior Jeff Thomas and dunk by senior Malik Benlevi, the Panthers took their first lead of the second half 55-54 with 11:41 remaining.
ULM responded again and led 73-69 with 3:29 to play before a jumper by Mitchell and 3-pointer by Thomas gave the Panthers a 74-73 lead with 2:00 minutes to play.
Smith responded with back-to-back 3-pointers and a free throw for the Warhawks to seal the victory.
Thomas finished with eight points and five rebounds for GSU, while Benlevi added 11 points and six boards. Williams came off the bench for a third straight game and finished with 13 points, while freshman Nelson Phillips added six points and three rebounds.
Travis Munnings, Michael Ertel, and JD Williams each scored 12 points, as Munnings just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.
Georgia State will remain on the road and travel to Lafayette to play Louisiana on Friday night. The game will air live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET.