What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will close out non-conference play on Saturday at Chattanooga looking to tie the record for most non-conference wins in program history.
* The Panthers have won five of their last seven games with the only two losses coming in overtime.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds leads the Panthers averaging 21.2 points per game which
ATLANTA-Looking to earn a record-tying win, Georgia State will conclude non-conference play at Chattanooga on Saturday afternoon. The tip is set for 1 p.m. from McKenzie Arena.
Georgia State (8-4) has won five of its last seven games with the only two losses coming in overtime. A ninth win on Saturday would tie the program record for most non-conference wins in program history.
Chattanooga (6-6) is coming off a come-from-behind victory over Jacksonville State on Thursday afternoon. The Mocs will be facing the Panthers for the 19th time overall, but just second since 1989.
Saturday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM with Dave Cohen, now in his 35th 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. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
The Panthers are coming off an impressive 71-63 victory at UMass on Wednesday. Georgia State knocked down 16 3-pointers, tied for the third-most in school history, making 11-of-15 in the second half. Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds just missed his third double-double of the year with 24 points and nine rebounds.
“I was extremely proud of the way this team bounced back from the tough loss at Dayton to earn an impressive win on the road at UMass,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “However, now we have to quickly turn our attention to a very good Chattanooga program that is coming off a good win themselves. This will be a tough battle on a short turnaround.”
Hunter, who picked up his 400th career win earlier this year, is already Georgia State’s all-time winningest coach, despite this being just his seventh season at the helm of the Panthers.
Georgia State enters play ranked No. 13 in the NCAA with a 5.3 turnover margin and is No. 28 in the country in turnovers forced.
Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is Simonds who enters Saturday averaging 21.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. His points per game total would set a school record if the season ended today. The reigning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year has scored in double figures in 29-straight games dating back to last year.
Simonds is one of three Panthers scoring in double figures. Mitchell is second on the team averaging 12.3 points per game. After being held scoreless in the first half at UMass, he finished with 14 points, knocking down three 3-pointers in the final four minutes of the game. He has made a team-high 33 3-pointers and is shooting 44.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior Malik Benlevi rounds out the group and is averaging 11.8 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game, shooting 50.9 percent from 3-point range. He is second in the Sun Belt with 34.3 minutes play per game, only behind Simonds.
The Panthers are scoring 73.6 points per game while holding opponents to just 65.0 points per contest. Equally remarkable, Georgia State has forced 207 turnovers, while turning the ball over just 143 times.
- Georgia State leads the Sun Belt in field goal percent defense (39.5), 3-point field goal percentage (38.8) and turnover margin (+5.3).
- Simonds 21.2 points per game scoring average
isNo. 30 in the NCAA and his total points scored (254) ranks No. 24.
- Simonds ranks in the top five in the Sun Belt in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played.
- Seniors Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams have both reached the 100 career games played mark this season. Last year three Panthers accomplished the mark.
- Isaiah Williams enters play needing just 48 points for 1,000 in his career.
Following the game on Saturday, Georgia State will open Sun Belt Conference play on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET at South Alabama. It will mark the fourth of a stretch of five-straight road games.
• Georgia State continues a stretch of five-straight games on the road at Chattanooga on Saturday.
• It will mark the first game of a two-year home-and-home series that will conclude in Atlanta next season.
• The Panthers and Mocs will be meeting for the 19th time, but just second since 1989.
• Georgia State’s 8-4 start is tied for the fifth-best 12-game start in program history.
• GSU is looking for a ninth non-conference win which would be tied for the most in program history.
• GSU is coming off an impressive 71-63 victory at UMass on Wednesday. It marked just the fourth loss in the last 39 non-conference home games for the Minutemen.
• Against UMass, the Panthers knocked down 16 3-pointers (on 25 attempts), which is tied for the third-most in school history.
• D’Marcus Simonds just missed a double-double with 24 points and nine rebounds at UMass. He has scored in double figures in 29-straight games.
• Simonds is averaging 21.2 points per game which would set a school record if the season ended today.
• Georgia State enters play ranked No. 13 in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 5.3.
• Ron Hunter, GSU’s all-time leader in wins, won his 400th career game on 11/22 against EWU.
• Hunter has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons.
• Isaiah Williams played in his 100th career game earlier this year. He is 48 pts. shy of 1,000 for his career.
• Williams, along with Jordan Session have both surpassed 100 career games played this season.
• Georgia State was picked to finish second in the annual Sun Belt Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
• Georgia State is currently receiving votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
• The Panthers have won 20 or more games in three of the last four seasons, advancing to postseason play in each of those years.
• Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 94 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.
• Radio Experience: Dave Cohen’s 35 years calling GSU basketball is impressive and today he will “square-off” against Chattanooga’s Jim Reynolds who has called Mocs’ games for 38 years.