What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State knocked down 16 3-pointers to earn a 71-63 win at UMass on Wednesday night.
* The loss was just the fourth for UMass at home during non-conference play in the last six years.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds just missed a double-double with 24 points and nine rebounds.
AMHERST, Mass.-Knocking down 16 3-pointers and shooting 64.0 percent from 3-point range, Georgia State earned a 71-63 victory over UMass at the Mullins Center on Wednesday night.
The 16 3-pointers are tied for the third-most in Georgia State history and it was a stretch of five-straight with under four minutes to play that gave the Panthers the win. Georgia State went 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) from 3-point range in the second half.
Georgia State improved to 8-4 and will look to tie a school record with nine non-conference wins on Saturday. UMass fell to 6-6 and lost for just the fourth time in the last 39 non-conference home games at the Mullins Center.
Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds just missed a double-double with 24 points and nine rebounds, going 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Junior Devin Mitchell was held scoreless in the first half before finishing with 14 points, going 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Junior Malik Benlevi added 13 points, six rebounds and four assists, also going 3-of-4 from 3-point range, while junior Jeff Thomas added 12 points on 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
Georgia State entered the night No. 11 in the NCAA in turnover margin and forced 15 against the Minutemen which led to 21 points.
“A really good road win for our program tonight,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We have had some leads in big-time environments and have not been able to hold on. To finish the way we did tonight is just huge going into our final non-conference game of the year and then Sun Belt play.”
With Georgia State missing eight of its first 11 shots and turning the ball over six times in the first eight minutes, UMass took an early 14-6 lead.
Thomas, who came off the bench for the first time this year, came in and hit back-to-back 3-pointers and the Panthers trailed just 17-13 with 8:32 to play in the first half.
Down seven, senior Isaiah Williams, who made his first start of the season, knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut the Minutemen’s lead to just two, 23-21, with just under four minutes to play. Williams finished with six points and five assists in 25 minutes.
A 3-pointer by Simonds with 90 seconds to play in the opening half gave Georgia State its first lead 26-25 since an early 4-2 lead. Simonds would score again off an inbound pass with 0.6 seconds to play to send the teams into the locker room tie 28-28.
Rashaan Holloway scored the first six UMass points of the second half to give the Minutemen a quick four-point lead before another 3-pointer from Thomas cut the lead to 34-33 with 15:52 to play.
UMass would go up by six points again before 3-pointers by Isaiah Williams and Benlevi cut the Minutemen’s lead to 53-50 with 7:29 to play.
After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, Georgia State turned the ball over just twice in the second 20 minutes.
Trailing by three with 6:05 to play, Mitchell knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game. After Simonds hit a 3-pointer with 4:03 to play to give the Panthers a one-point lead, the barrage from beyond the arc was on. Mitchell hit three-straight 3-pointers to put Georgia State up 67-60 with 1:41 to play and then Benlevi knocked down one more with a minute left to give the Panthers a 10-point lead.
Luwane Pipkins and Carl Pierre led UMass with 14 points each, while Rayshawn Miller added 10. UMass was held to 40.0 percent shooting.
Georgia State will conclude non-conference play at Chattanooga on Saturday at 1 p.m. With a win on Saturday, the Panthers would tie the school record for most non-conference wins in school history.