What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will look for a sixth-straight home win over Troy when the Trojans come to the GSU Sports Arena on Monday night at 7 p.m.
* It will mark the 30th time that Georgia State and Troy have met with the Panthers holding a 17-12 advantage in the series.
* Georgia State scored the final eight points against South Alabama on Saturday to earn a 78-77 win over South Alabama.
ATLANTA-Coming off a remarkable last-minute comeback on Saturday, Georgia State will return to the court on Monday night to host Troy at 7 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.
Georgia State (8-6, 1-1 Sun Belt) trailed South Alabama 77-70 on Saturday afternoon before scoring the final eight points, capped by a 3-pointer from Devin Mitchell with 11 seconds remaining to pick up its first Sun Belt win of the year.
Monday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3, 1230 The Fan 2 and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 34th year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by 680 The Fan’s Brandon Leak. The game will also air on the WatchESPN platform for a second-straight year with Sam Crenshaw and former Panther Rodney “Truck” Turner calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
The win in the GSU Sports Arena on Saturday was the 42nd in the last 47 games at home. The Panthers were led by sophomore Malik Benlevi who finished with a career-high 19 points. He is averaging 8.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 53.4 percent from the floor this season.
“Malik has really stepped up his play,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Our team has been battling the flu and injuries over the last couple of weeks, but he has been a leader and is learning to play to his strengths.
“Saturday’s win was a big one for us with everything going on. Hopefully we can use that as some momentum going into Monday night against a very good Troy team.”
Senior Jeremy Hollowell, an All-Sun Belt Preseason Second Team member, continues to lead the Panthers averaging 14.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He is one of seven Panthers scoring 6.0 or more points per game, as 11 members of the team average at least 12 minutes per game. Hollowell has scored 20 or more points in a game six times this year, most on the team.
Senior Willie Clayton has picked up two double-doubles already this season and has 19 for this career. Clayton, who is averaging 7.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, leads the Sun Belt with a 63.9 field goal percentage and is second with 3.7 offensive rebounds per game. He is third in the league and No. 75 in the NCAA in rebounding average.
Junior Jordan Session has pulled down 20 rebounds in the last two games, including a career-high 13 at Georgia Southern. In the last four games, he is averaging more than 22 minutes per contest.
Freshman D’Marcus Simonds has impressed all season despite missing the last three games. Arguably the highest-rated freshman to ever sign with Georgia State, he is averaging 9.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.5 percent from the floor, seventh-best in the Sun Belt. He was named tournament MVP of the Cancun Challenge.
· Georgia State is first in the Sun Belt and No. 14 in the NCAA averaging 8.9 steals per game.
· The Panthers are shooting 45.2 percent from the floor, No. 5 in the Sun Belt, while allowing opponents to shoot just 41.5 percent, also No. 5 in the league.
· Despite several players in their first year at Georgia State, the Panthers starting line-up doesn’t lack experience. Three players reached their 100th career game during non-conference play. Willie Clayton (110), Jeremy Hollowell (106) and Justin Seymour (104) have each eclipsed the 100-game barrier.
· Georgia State is No. 28 in the NCAA forcing 16.21 turnovers per game.
· Junior Isaiah Williams is shooting 45.2 percent from 3-point range which ranks No. 8 in the Sun Belt.
Troy (8-8, 0-2 Sun Belt) is led by Jordan Varnado who is averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Trojans have opened conference play with a pair of tough losses, falling to South Alabama by one and Georgia Southern by four.
Following Monday’s game, Georgia State will open a two-game trip to Louisiana on Saturday facing UL Monroe at 5 p.m. ET.
• Georgia State and Troy will meet for the 30th time on Monday. The Panthers hold a 17-12 advantage, including 11-2 mark at home.
• Georgia State has won five-straight home games against the Trojans.
• Since rejoining the Sun Belt, GSU is 42-18 in Sun Belt Conference regular season games.
• Georgia State finished non-conference play with seven wins, tied for the third most in a season in program history.
• The win over Middle Tennessee in mid-December marked the second time in three seasons defeating an NCAA RPI Top 10 team.
• Devin Mitchell knocked down a 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play to give GSU a 78-77 win over South Alabama last time out.
• Ron Hunter enters play with 111 wins at GSU, the most in program history.
• Ron Hunter is one of just seven coaches to be the all-time winningest coach at multiple NCAA D1 schools.
• Senior Willie Clayton is currently No. 3 in the Sun Belt and No. 75 in the NCAA in rebounds averaging 8.4 per game.
• Willie Clayton also leads the Sun Belt with a 63.9 field goal percentage.
• Senior Jeremy Hollowell has scored 20 or more points in a game six times this year and is averaging a team-high 14.9 points per game.
• Willie Clayton has two double-doubles this year and has 19 for his career.
• Georgia State won the Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge earlier this year.
• Freshman D’Marcus Simonds (MVP) and senior Justin Seymour were both named to the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament Team.
• Georgia State was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt Preseason Poll behind UT Arlington and defending champion Little Rock.
• Georgia State is 71-33 (.683) since Dec. 14, 2013.