What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State fell to Ole Miss 77-72 at The Pavilion on Friday night in the MGM Grand Main Event.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds finished with 29 points before fouling out with a minute to play.
* Junior Jeff Thomas just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
OXFORD, Miss.-Despite 29 points from D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State fell to Ole Miss 77-72 at The Pavilion on Friday night in the MGM Grand Main Event. Three Panthers fouled out as Georgia State was called for 30 fouls.
Simonds went 10-of-22 from the floor, dished out five assists and grabbed five rebounds before fouling out. Junior Jeff Thomas added 14 points, while Devin Mitchell scored 11 as each knocked down three 3-pointers.
Georgia State (2-1) was looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2000-01 season, while Ole Miss (3-0) remained undefeated and picked up its second win over the Panthers in three seasons.
“I thought our guys played really hard and in my opinion, we lost to a team that will be in the NCAA tournament in March,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We had to change a lot of things up because of the foul situation in the first half and that truly hurt us down the stretch.”
Ole Miss was led by Terence Davis who scored 24 points, going 5-of-10 from 3-point range before fouling out. Markel Crawford added 15 points for the Rebels.
A corner 3-pointer from Thomas gave the Panthers an early 7-3 lead with 16:58 remaining in the half as GSU had a 6-1 advantage on the boards before the first media timeout.
An 11-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Devin Mitchell with 14:40 to play, pushed Georgia State’s lead to 15-3.
The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first half before Ole Miss used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 33-31 with just under five minutes to play.
However, Georgia State immediately responded on back-to-back baskets by Simonds to lead by nine with 2:26 to play and went into the locker room leading 44-36 despite being called for 18 fouls before the break.
Georgia State shot 53.0 percent in the first 20 minutes, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Rebels 20-13.
On back-to-back 3-pointers by Davis and a 10-0 run to start the second half, Ole Miss took its first lead of the game 46-44 with 17:30 to play.
The Panthers responded with a 6-0 run of their own, but the Rebels came right back with a 7-0 run to lead 56-53 with 12:26 remaining.
Despite being held without a field goal for more than five minutes and trailing 71-63 with under three minutes to play, the Panthers used one last run to get within 71-68 on a jumper by Thomas with 1:39 remaining.
The Panthers would still trail by just three, 73-70, after a pair of free throws by Simonds, but that is as close as Georgia State could get.
Georgia State outrebounded the bigger Rebels
- Georgia State fell to 4-33 all-time against current members of the SEC.
- Georgia State’s last win over an SEC opponent came with a 77-72 victory over Auburn on Dec. 22, 2003.
- Head coach Ron Hunter remains just one win shy of 400 for his career after becoming Georgia State’s all-time career wins leader last season. He is one of just seven NCAA Division I coaches to be the winningest coach at multiple schools.
Georgia State will travel to Las Vegas on Sunday to continue the MGM Grand Main Event on Monday facing Eastern Washington at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game will air live on FloHoops.TV.