What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will look to win an eighth-straight game on Thursday traveling to face Arkansas State.
* The Panthers are shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point range which is currently the best mark in school history.
* Georgia State's 16-6 start to the season is the second-best 22-game start in program history.
ATLANTA-After sweeping three games at home to push its winning streak to seven-straight games, second-place Georgia State will return to the road to face Arkansas State at First National Bank Arena on Thursday for an 8:30 p.m. ET tip.
Georgia State (16-6, 7-2 Sun Belt) topped Texas State 54-50 on Saturday to up the winning streak to the sixth-longest in program history. It is also currently tied for the 13th-longest in the NCAA. At 16-6, the Panthers are off to the second-best start to a season in program history.
Arkansas State (8-14, 3-6 Sun Belt) is led by Deven Simms who is averaging 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. The Red Wolves sit tied for ninth in the Sun Belt at the midway point of league play.
Thursday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM, WRAS-FM 88.5 and now WXJO-AM 1120/104.5 FM with Dave Cohen, now in his 35th year as the Voice of the Panthers, and 680 The Fan’s Brandon Leak calling the action. The game will also air live on the WatchESPN platform. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
“We are playing some of our best defense of the year right now,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Our offense is getting closer to where we want it and we have seen glimpses of it in the last few games. After three mentally-tough games at home, we need to go on the road, get off to a great start on Thursday and get an important win as we try to win a championship.”
Georgia State enters play ranked first in the league in turnover margin (+4.5), field goal percentage defense (39.1) and blocked shots (4.7), along with second in steals (7.9). The turnover margin is No. 10 in the NCAA.
However, the Panthers’ offense is equally good. Georgia State is second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.8), third in field goal percentage (45.1) and fourth in 3-point field goals made per game (8.8).
Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is sophomore D’Marcus Simonds who enters Thursday averaging 21.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. His points per game total is currently the best total in school history. He has scored in double-figures in 39-straight games dating back to last year.
Simonds earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors after his performances against the Texas schools which included his fourth double-double of the season and a pair of 20-plus point performances.
Simonds is one of four Panthers scoring in double figures. Junior Devin Mitchell is second on the team averaging 10.8 points per game. He has made a team-high 53 3-pointers and is shooting 41.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior Jeff Thomas is averaging 10.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
Junior Malik Benlevi and senior Jordan Session round out the starters. Benlevi is averaging 10.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Session adds 6.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. Session has pulled down 24 rebounds in the last two games.
- Simonds 21.3 points per game scoring average ranks No. 20 in the NCAA and his total points scored (468) is No. 18. He has made 173 total field goals which ranks No. 11 in the country.
- Simonds ranks in the top four in the Sun Belt in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played.
- Seniors Jordan Session has played in 115 career games, tied for the 10th-most in program history.
- Georgia State’s 37.8 3-pointer percentage would set a school record if the season ended today. The 194 3-pointers made ranks eighth-most in program history.
- Jeff Thomas has scored in double figures in 11-straight games.
- The Panthers have had multiple players record double-doubles in a game twice this year, including last Thursday against UT Arlington and earlier this year against Tulane.
Following the game on Thursday, Georgia State will conclude its trip to Arkansas facing Little Rock at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
• Georgia State and Arkansas State will meet for the 12th time and second time this season on Thursday with the Panthers holding an 8-3 lead in the series.
• Georgia State earned a 79-75 win over the Red Wolves in Atlanta on Jan. 6.
• GSU is coming off a 54-50 win over Texas State on Saturday to win for the seventh-straight time.
• GSU’s seven-straight wins are tied for the sixth-longest streak in program history and is tied for the 13th-longest streak in the nation.
• Georgia State finished the month of January undefeated at 7-0. It marked the eighth month in program history going undefeated and just third in which five or more games were played.
• D’Marcus Simonds was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season and the third time in his career.
• Georgia State’s 16-6 start is tied for the second-best 22-game start in program history.
• The Panthers moved back into the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 on Monday at No. 22.
• Georgia State won nine non-conference games this year, tied for the most in program history.
• The Panthers have won 60 Sun Belt games since returning to the league in 2013. No other program in the league has more than 55 wins during that time.
• D’Marcus Simonds has scored in double figures in 39-straight games dating back to last season.
• Simonds is averaging 21.3 points per game which is currently the best single-season scoring average in school history. He is currently ranked No. 21 in the NCAA in scoring.
• Georgia State enters play ranked No. 10 in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 4.5, No. 11 in field goal defense (39.1) and No. 34 in turnovers at just 11.4 per game.
• Ron Hunter, GSU’s all-time leader in wins, won his 400th career game on 11/22 against EWU.
• Hunter has led GSU to 4-of-the-7 most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons.
• Isaiah Williams played in his 100th career game this year and scored his 1,000th career point against Georgia Southern on Jan. 20.
• Jordan Session has now played in 115 games tied for 10th most in school history. He has also been a part of 77 wins, the sixth-most for any player in program history.• Georgia State’s field goal percentage defense (39.1) is currently the third-best mark in school history.
• 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 102 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.