What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State knocked down 15 3-pointers but fell to UT Arlington 89-81 on Saturday.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds scored the 1,000th point of his career late in the first half and finished with 18 points.
* Junior Devin Mitchell led the Panthers with 25 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers.
ARLINGTON, Texas-Despite 15 3-pointers, Georgia State dropped an 89-81 decision to UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon at the College Park Center. Junior Devin Mitchell led the Panthers with 25 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers.
Mitchell made seven or more 3-pointers for the third time this season and moved to within 20 of the Georgia State single-season record of 100 held by R.J. Hunter.
Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds added 18 points including the 1,000th of his career late in the first half. He accomplished the feat in just 58 games, tied for the fifth-quickest in program history.
Despite the loss, Georgia State (20-9, 11-5 Sun Belt) wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Sun Belt Championship. The Panthers were done in on Saturday by going just 6-of-18 from the free throw line.
UT Arlington (18-12, 9-8 Sun Belt) honored eight seniors before the start of the game and came out with a hot hand. Senior Kevin Hervey led the Mavericks with a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds, while senior Erick Neal just missed a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.
“It simply came down to free throw shooting,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We went just 6-of-18, while UT Arlington made 23-of-34. You just cannot allow that to happen at this time of year. However, we will regroup, head home and look to finish the regular season strong.”
Using the emotion of senior day, UT Arlington opened the game on a quick 7-0 run, but Georgia State immediately responded with a 9-2 run to tie the game 9-9.
After scoring seven-straight points for the Panthers, Simonds nailed a 3-pointer with 5:22 to play to give him the 1,000th point of his career, accomplishing the feat in just 58 games.
The Mavericks hit back-to-back 3-pointers to build a lead to as many as 11 points, including with 45 seconds to play in the half.
However, a 3-pointer by Benlevi going into the locker room cut UT Arlington’s lead to 46-38 at the break. The Panthers shot 45.5 percent in the first 20 minutes, but went just 1-of-7 from the free throw line and were outrebounded by eight.
The Panthers took their first lead of the game utilizing an 11-2 run to lead 49-48 with 18:23 to play.
Georgia State led 52-51 before UTA responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to go back up by five with just over 15 minutes to play.
The Mavericks pushed the lead back to 10 before Mitchell started to heat up from 3-point range and when he knocked down his seventh of the game, the Panthers trailed by just two, 77-75, with 4:07 to play.
A possession later, Kane Williams tied the game with three minutes to play before the Mavericks responded with a 9-0 run to secure the win.
The Panthers went 15-of-37 from 3-point range but were outrebounded by the bigger Mavericks 48-34.
Kaelon Wilson and Johnny Hamilton each scored 14 points for the Mavericks who improved to 13-2 at home this year.
Georgia State will return home for the final two games of the regular season beginning with Troy on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.
D’Marcus Simonds has now scored 620 points this season, fifth-most in a single-season in program history and just 68