Panthers Make it 10 Straight, 58-44 Over Drexel
ATLANTA--Devonta White scored 15 points as Georgia State extended its school-record winning streak to 10 straight games with a 59-44 victory over Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association game Monday at the GSU Sports Arena.
Georgia State's winning streak now equals the seventh longest in the nation, and at 10-3, the Panthers (10-3, 2-0 CAA) are off to their best start since 2000-01.
Drexel (8-5, 0-2) had its six-game winning streak snapped.
Georgia State shot just 33 percent from the field, but the Panthers held Drexel to 32 percent and forced 25 turnovers, which they converted into 23 points. In a physical game, GSU cashed in at the free throw line, hitting 27 of 31 from the charity stripe. The 87.1 free throw percentage was the best in a CAA game in school history.
State hit its first 11 free throws. The 27 made attempts is the most in a CAA game and fell just shy of the school's top 10 list.
"I am proud of our guys tonight," commented head coach Ron Hunter. "We played really well on the defensive end and were excellent at the free throw line. We had not shot well at the free throw line this year, but tonight we made the shots when we needed them."
Eric Buckner collected 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks for Georgia State, while Jihad Ali and James Fields added 10 points each. Ali also contributed four rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
Leading just 18-17 with three minutes to play in the first half, Georgia State scored eight straight points, all on free throws, to build its largest lead of the half. The Panthers took a 26-18 advantage into the locker room.
Georgia State held Drexel without a field goal for a five-minute stretch, giving up just one free throw. Josh Micheaux's lay-up and free throw capped the 11-1 run and gave the Panthers a 29-18 lead with 18:43 in the game.
Drexel pulled within 37-30 on a layup by Fouch, but Ali answered with tough basket in the paint. Then at the other end Buckner stuffed a shot, and Ali grabbed the rebound and flung it down court to White, who laid it in for 41-30 lead. Fouch made another bucket to cut the Drexel deficit to nine, but after White hit a pair of free throws to put GSU ahead 42-32, the Panthers' lead never fell below double figures the rest of the game.
"When you play one of the top teams in the country after a ten-day lay-off, most teams do not respond well," continued Hunter. "We practiced really well over the last five days and our team responded well tonight. Drexel played us tough on the defensive end, but we found a way to win."
White used a five-point run of his own, capped by a three-pointer to push GSU's lead to 50-35 with 6:36 to play.
Chris Fouch led Drexel with 18 points.
The Panthers now hit the road for the first time in CAA play with a Wednesday game at VCU, riding an eight-game streak of its own. The game will air live on ESPN3 from the Siegel Center, the first of three straight televised games for the Panthers.
Both season and individual game tickets for the 2011-12 season continue to be on sale. A variety of packages can be found by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com or by calling 1-866-GA-STATE.