What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State will look for a seventh-straight win on Saturday facing Texas State in the GSU Sports Arena.
* Sophomore D'Marcus Simonds has garnered double-doubles in each of the last two games.
* The match-up with the Bobcats will feature the top two scoring defense teams in the Sun Belt.
ATLANTA-Coming off an impressive win over the conference preseason favorite on Thursday, Georgia State will turn its attention to the league’s second-place team on Saturday squaring off with Texas State in the GSU Sports Arena at 2:15 p.m.
Georgia State (15-6, 6-2 Sun Belt) enters play riding a six-game winning streak following an 81-75 win over UT Arlington on Thursday. The Panthers are currently in third place in the Sun Belt standings just a half game behind Texas State. At 15-6, the Panthers are off to the second-best start to a season in program history.
Texas State (14-8, 7-2 Sun Belt) enters play as the top defensive scoring team in the Sun Belt allowing just 63.3 points per game. The Panthers come enter play in second at just 65.6 points per game.
Saturday’s contest can be heard live on 1340 The Fan 3/103.7 FM, WGTJ-AM 1330 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.
“We have gotten off to slow starts in the last few games, but made good adjustments at halftime to come away with wins,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “This team is getting closer to playing its best basketball of the year. However, Texas State will be one of the best defensive teams we play all season and we need to come out ready to attack on Saturday.”
Georgia State enters play ranked first in the league in turnover margin (+5.0), field goal percentage defense (39.6) and blocked shots (4.7), along with second in steals (8.0). The steals per game total ranks No. 30 in the NCAA, while the turnover margin is No. 8.
However, the Panthers’ offense is equally good. Georgia State is first in 3-point field goal percentage (38.2) and third in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0).
Among Georgia State’s most potent offensive options is sophomore D’Marcus Simonds who enters Saturday averaging 21.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. His points per game total
Simonds garnered a double-double of 29 points and 10 rebounds against the Mavericks. It was his second-straight double-double and fourth of the season.
Simonds is one of four Panthers scoring in double figures. Junior Devin Mitchell is second on the team averaging 11.2 points per game. He has made a team-high 53 3-pointers and is shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc, tops in the Sun Belt.
Junior Jeff Thomas is averaging 10.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 37.8 percent from 3-point range.
Junior Malik Benlevi and senior Jordan Session round out the starters. Benlevi is averaging 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while Session adds 6.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Session recorded his second career double-double on Thursday with 12 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds.
- Simonds 21.3 points per game scoring average
ranksNo. 21 in the NCAA and his total points scored (448) is No. 17. He has made 165 total field goals which ranksNo. 10 in the country.
- Simonds ranks in the top four in the Sun Belt in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played.
- Seniors Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams have both reached the 100 career games played mark this season. Last year three Panthers accomplished the mark.
- Isaiah Williams scored the 1,000th point of his career against Georgia Southern last weekend.
- Jeff Thomas has scored in double figures in 10-straight games.
- The Panthers have had multiple players record double-doubles in a game twice this year, including on Thursday against UT Arlington and earlier this year against Tulane.
Following the game on Saturday, Georgia State will open a two-game road trip to Arkansas facing Arkansas State on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
• Georgia State and Texas State, the top two teams defensively in the Sun Belt, will meet for the 11th time on Saturday.
• Georgia State leads the all-time series 6-4 following a 67-51 win in Atlanta last year.
• GSU is coming off an 81-75 win over UT Arlington on Thursday to win for the sixth-straight time.
• GSU’s six-straight wins are tied for the 11th-longest streak in program history and
• D’Marcus Simonds recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds against the Mavericks. It was his second-straight double-double.
• Georgia State has won six-straight home games and is 8-1 at home this season.
• Georgia State’s 15-6 start is tied for the second-best 21-game start in program history.
• Georgia State won nine non-conference games this year, tied for the most in program history.
• The Panthers have won 59 Sun Belt games since returning to the league in 2013. No other program in the league has more than 54 wins during that time.
• D’Marcus Simonds has scored in double figures in 38-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. 8 in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 5.0, No. 17 in field goal defense (39.6) and No. 24 in turnovers at just 11.1 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 four of the seven 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 114 games, just one shy of the top 10 in school history. He has also been a part of 76 wins, the sixth-most for any player in program history.
• Georgia State was picked to finish second in the annual Sun Belt Coaches’ Preseason 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 101 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.