What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will look for an 11th-straight win hosting UL Monroe on Saturday in the GSU Sports Arena at 2:15 p.m.
* With six games to play in the regular season, the Panthers are just one-half game back of Louisiana for first place.
* Georgia State's 19-6 start to the season is the second-best 25-game start in program history.
ATLANTA-Coming off a huge win on Thursday night, Georgia State will look to extend its winning streak to 11-straight games hosting UL Monroe on Saturday in the GSU Sports Arena at 2:15 p.m.
Georgia State (19-6, 10-2 Sun Belt) remained unbeaten in 2018 with a 106-92 win over first-place Louisiana on Thursday to move within a half-game of first place in the league standings with six games to play.
The Panthers’ winning streak is the third-longest in program history and tied for the ninth-longest in the country. At 19-6, the Panthers are off to the second-best start to a season in program history. Despite six games remaining in the regular season, Georgia State already has the eighth-most wins in school history.
UL Monroe (10-12, 4-7 Sun Belt) enters play following an overtime win over Georgia Southern on Thursday night in which Travis Munnings finished with a double-double of 26 points and 20 rebounds.
Saturday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM, 1230 The Fan2/106.3 FM 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 with Sam Crenshaw and Rodney Turner calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
“As big as last night’s win was, it will only be big if we take care of business on Saturday,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We know that every game moving forward is like a conference tournament game if we want to win the regular season title. Our guys know this and will be locked in on Saturday.”
Georgia State enters play ranked first in the league in field goal percentage defense (39.1), turnover margin (+3.6) and blocked shots (4.8), along with second in scoring defense (65.5) and third in steals (7.5). The Panthers’ scoring defense is ranked No. 30 in the NCAA, while the field goal percentage defense is No. 7.
However, the Panthers’ offense is equally good. Georgia State is first in 3-point field goal percentage (39.0) along with second in field goal percentage (46.2) and 3-point field goals made per game (9.2).
Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is sophomore D’Marcus Simonds who enters Saturday averaging 20.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He has scored in double-figures in 42-straight games and is ranked No. 26 in the country in scoring. He just missed a triple-double against Louisiana with 22 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Simonds is one of four Panthers scoring in double figures. Junior Devin Mitchell is second on the team averaging 12.2 points per game, having scored 58 points in the last two games. He earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors on Monday, has made a team-high 70 3-pointers and is shooting 44.9 percent from beyond the arc which is ranked No. 20 in the NCAA.
Junior Jeff Thomas is averaging 11.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has made 129 3-pointers in his career, tied for the 10th-most in program history.
Junior Malik Benlevi and senior Jordan Session round out the starters. Benlevi is averaging 10.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while Session adds 7.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Benlevi recorded his fourth double-double of the year on Thursday, while Session finished with a career-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting against Louisiana.
- D’Marcus Simonds has made 195 total field goals this year which ranks No. 8 in the country.
- Georgia State has made 231 3-pointers this year which is ranked fifth-most in program history, while the Panthers’ 3-point field goal percentage (39.0) is the best mark in school history.
- Senior Jordan Session has played in 118 career games, tied for seventh-most in program history. He has also been a part of 80 wins, tied for the fifth-best four-year stretch in program history.
- Despite just being a sophomore, D’Marcus Simonds is just 12 points shy of moving into the top 25 in program history.
Following the game on Saturday, Georgia State will begin a stretch of three-straight road games at in-state rival Georgia Southern on Friday. Tip is set for 9 p.m. live on ESPN2.
• Georgia State and UL Monroe will meet for the 14th time and only time during the 2017-18 season. The Panthers own a 7-6 lead in the series and have won two-straight.
• Georgia State enters play a half-game back of Louisiana for first place in the Sun Belt Conference.• Georgia State owns a 10-game winning streak (t9th in the NCAA) and has yet to lose in 2018.
• GSU is coming off a 106-92 win over Louisiana (rv) on Thursday to win for the 10th-straight time.
• The 106 points scored are the most-ever for Georgia State in a Sun Belt game.
• Six Panthers scored in double figures against Louisiana. It was the first time that has occurred for GSU since 2004.
• Georgia State also had three players score 20 or more points against Louisiana. That has only happened five times in program history.
• GSU’s 10-straight wins are the third-longest streak in program history.
• 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.
• Devin Mitchell was named Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday for the first time after scoring a career-high 38 points, including 10 3-pointers in the win over Little Rock.
• Georgia State has won eight-straight home games and are 10-1 at home this season.
• Georgia State’s 19-6 start is the second-best 25-game start in program history.
• The Panthers continued to climb the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 on Monday and are now No. 16.
• The Panthers have won 63 Sun Belt games since returning to the league in 2013. No other program in the league has more than 56 wins (Louisiana) during that time.
• D’Marcus Simonds has scored in double figures in 42-straight games dating back to last season.
• Simonds is averaging 20.9 points per game which is currently the third-best single-season scoring average in school history. He is currently ranked No. 26 in the NCAA in scoring.
• Georgia State enters play ranked No. 30 in scoring defense (65.5) in the NCAA, No. 7 in field goal defense (39.1) and No. 21 with a turnover margin of 3.6.
• Ron Hunter, GSU’s all-time leader in wins, won his 400th career game on 11/22 against EWU.
• With Georgia State’s 19 wins, Ron Hunter has led the Panthers to 5-of-the-8 most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons.
• Jordan Session has now played in 118 games, tied for seventh-most in school history. He has also been a part of 80 wins, tied for the fifth-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 104 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.