Both teams are hoping to get back on the winning track after watching their win streaks come to an end last weekend. The Panthers and Eagles are tied for second place in the Sun Belt standings with a 6-3 record in league play. Can Georgia Southern take over sole possession of second place with a victory at home over Georgia State on Saturday evening?
Panthers can't keep momentum going vs. TroyGeorgia State snapped a three-game winning streak on Saturday night with a 75-65 loss on the road against Troy. Justin Roberts had 15 points and seven assists to lead four Panthers players in double-figures on the night but Georgia State shot just 9-for-29 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 15 times in the loss.
Rob Lanier has guided the Panthers to a 13-7 overall record, including a 6-3 mark in league play, and they come into the weekend slotted at No. 98 in the latest KenPom rankings. Georgia State has scored 106.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (82nd in the NCAA) and they’ve knocked down a red-hot 39.4 percent of their 3-point attempts (8th in the NCAA). They’ve been trending up on offense during conference play as well, scoring a league-best 107.0 points per 100 possessions (1st in the Sun Belt) through nine games while shooting 39.6 percent from beyond the arc (1st in the Sun Belt). The Panthers sport the second-best effective field goal percentage in the conference at 53.3 percent but they’ve turned the ball over on 20.7 percent of their offensive possessions (7th in the Sun Belt) during that span.
On defense, Georgia State has given up 98.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (118th in the NCAA) but that number has plummeted all the way down to 94.7 points per 100 possessions against Sun Belt opponents (1st in the Sun Belt). Through nine league games, the Panthers have forced opponents to turn the ball over 24.3 percent of the time (1st in the Sun Belt) while holding them to an effective field goal percentage of 44.6 percent (1st in the MAC). Georgia State also ranks first in the conference in defensive block rate (11.8 percent) and defensive steal rate (11.9 percent) so far this year.
Eagles snap three-game win streak vs. South AlabamaGeorgia Southern fell to 6-3 in Sun Belt play after snapping their three-game winning streak last weekend against South Alabama. Calvin Wishart scored 17 points and Isaiah Crawley added 13 points and 10 boards in the 74-68 loss. The Eagles led by as many as 10 points in the second half but shot just 9-for-16 from the charity stripe in the loss.
Mark Byington’s squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 147 in the latest KenPom rankings after flashing improvement on both ends of the floor during conference play. The Eagles have scored only 102.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (166th in the NCAA) and 103.0 points per 100 possessions during league play (5th in the Sun Belt). Through nine Sun Belt contests, the Eagles have turned the ball over just 18.3 percent of the time (4th in the Sun Belt) while shooting a healthy 50.0 percent from inside the arc (3rd in the Sun Belt) during that span. The problem is, Georgia Southern has fallen in love with the 3-point shot during league play, attempting 48.4 percent of their total shots from long-range (1st in the Sun Belt) and connecting at a rate of just 33.5 percent (6th in the Sun Belt).
On defense, Georgia Southern has limited opponents to 100.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (143rd in the NCAA) but that number has come down to only 96.3 points per 100 possessions against Sun Belt opponents (3rd in the Sun Belt). They have held league opponents to just 27.4 percent shooting from 3-point range (2nd in the Sun Belt) while forcing them to turn the ball over 20.7 percent of the time (4th in the Sun Belt).