What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will continue a stretch of five-straight games on the road at UMass on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
* The Panthers opened the stretch with a tough 88-83 loss at Dayton in front of more than 13,000 fans on Saturday.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds leads the Panthers averaging 20.9 points per game.
ATLANTA-Looking to bounce back after a tough overtime loss on Saturday, Georgia State will continue a stretch of five-straight games on the road at UMass on Saturday night. Tip-off between the Panthers and Minutemen is set for 7 p.m., at the Mullins Center.
Georgia State has won four of its last six games and the 7-4 start is tied for the fifth-best 11-game beginning to a season in program history. UMass enters play 6-5 with all six wins coming at home, including a 10-point victory over Georgia on Saturday.
This will conclude a two-game home-and-home series that began with a nine-point win for the Minutemen in Atlanta last year. It is also the second-straight game for Georgia State against a member of the A-10, as the Panthers lost to the Flyers 88-83 in overtime at UD Arena over the weekend.
Wednesday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 35th year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by 680 The Fan’s Brandon Leak. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
Despite a career-high 28 points from junior Devin Mitchell on Saturday, foul trouble plagued the Panthers at Dayton. The Panthers were called for 27 fouls as sophomore D’Marcus Simonds and junior Malik Benlevi, GSU’s top two players in minutes, were forced to sit most of the second half in foul trouble.
“Over the last couple of days, we have talked about what we need to do so that we can get back to playing the type of defense we know we are capable of,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “Offensively things are really coming together, but we know we need to be successful on both ends of the court to win.”
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. 11 in the NCAA with a 5.5 turnover margin and is No. 26 in the country in turnovers forced.
Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is Simonds who enters Wednesday averaging 20.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. The reigning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year has scored in double figures in 28-straight games dating back to last year, including two 30-plus point games over the last four.
Simonds is one of three Panthers scoring in double figures. Mitchell is second on the team averaging 12.2 points per game following Saturday’s performance. He has knocked down a team-high 29 3-pointers and is shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior Malik Benlevi rounds out the group and is averaging 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, shooting 48.9 percent from 3-point range. He dished out a career-high five assists on Saturday at Dayton.
The Panthers are scoring 73.8 points per game
- Seniors Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams have both reached the 100 career games played mark this season. Last year three Panthers accomplished the mark.
- Simonds and Benlevi are averaging 1.7 steals per game, tied for fourth in the Sun Belt.
- Simonds and Benlevi rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the Sun Belt in minutes played per game.
- Isaiah Williams enters play needing just 54 points for 1,000 in his career.
- If the Panthers can win their final two non-conference games, the nine-game win total will equal the most non-conference wins in program history.
Following the game on Wednesday, Georgia State will conclude non-conference play at Chattanooga on Saturday at 1 p.m.
• GSU will continue a stretch of five-straight games on the road at UMass on Wednesday night.
• It will mark the second time in two seasons the two schools have played and the second of two-straight against opponents from the A-10 Conference.
• Last season UMass earned a 74-65 victory
• Georgia State’s 7-4 start is tied for the fifth-best 11-game start in program history.
• GSU is coming off an 88-83 overtime loss in front of 13,005 fans at Dayton on Saturday night.
• Junior Devin Mitchell scored a career-high 28 points against the Flyers, knocking down six 3-pointers as three Panthers scored in double figures.
• D’Marcus Simonds scored 21 points at Dayton and now has scored in double figures in 28-straight games, among the top 20 longest streaks in the country.
• Simonds has scored 30 or more points in two of the last four games and is averaging 20.9 points per game.
• Georgia State enters play ranked No. 11 in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 5.5.
• Head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s all-time leader in wins, won the 400th game of his career on Nov. 20 against Eastern Washington.
• Hunter has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons.
• Senior Isaiah Williams played in his 100th career game earlier this year. He is also just 54 points 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 93 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.