It’s a battle of teams looking to pick up a win in Sun Belt action on the hardwood. The Georgia State Panthers are on the road as they travel to face the UT Arlington Mavericks Saturday afternoon. Georgia State snapped a two game slide as they defeated Texas State 77-50 on the road Thursday night. UT Arlington stopped a two game skid of their own by rolling over Georgia Southern 83-63 at home Thursday night. The Mavericks own a 6-5 lead in the all-time series but the Panthers took the first meeting this season, 81-75, at home on January 25.
Georgia State Panthers Try to Sweep Season Series
Georgia State managed to rebound from back to back losses that pretty much eliminated their chances at claiming the Sun Belt regular season crown by throttling Texas State. The Panthers improved to 20-8 overall and 11-4 in the Sun Belt, three games behind Louisiana with three to play. Georgia State trailed 23-21 with 10:34 to go in the first half: they then reeled off a 28-2 run over the next 14 minutes to take control and run away with the game. The Panthers shot 49.1 percent from the field and hit 10 of 24 from three point range while winning the rebounding battle 39-32. D’Marcus Simonds had 19 points and six boards to lead Georgia State.
The Panthers are above average on the offensive end of the floor as they come in tied for 143rd in the nation with 75 points per game. Georgia State is 251st in the country in rebounding with 34 boards a night and tied for 199th with 13.4 assists per game. The Panthers are excellent defensively as they stand 45th in scoring defense by allowing 66.5 points a night. Georgia State is shooting 46.2 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Eagles sink 9.1 three pointers a night while shooting a solid 38.1 percent from beyond the arc as a team. Georgia State has had serious problems at the free throw line as they hit 67.3 percent as a team. D’Marcus Simonds leads the Panthers with 21.5 points plus 6.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists a night. Devin Mitchell (11.8 points) and Jeff Thomas (10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds) are each scoring in double figures this season. Malik Benlevi (10.4 points, 6.6 boards), Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams each put up more than 6.5 points a game for Georgia State this season.
UT Arlington Mavericks Look for Back to Back Wins
UT Arlington managed to get back in the win column as they rolled over Georgia Southern at home Thursday night. The Mavericks ran their record to 17-12 overall and 8-8 in the Sun Belt with the win: they look to climb over .500 in conference play here. UT Arlington led by four at the half and was tied early in the second half before ripping off a 17-0 run to take command of the contest. The Mavericks shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 10 of 24 from three point range, in the victory. Kaelon Wilson scored a career-high 23 to lead UT Arlington.
The Mavericks come into this contest ranked 78th in the nation in scoring offense as they average 77.6 points per game. UT-Arlington is 26th in rebounding with 39.1 boards a contest and 43rd by dishing out 16.1 assists per night. The Mavericks are slightly below average on the defensive end, ranking tied for 201st in scoring defense by giving up 73.3 points a game. UT-Arlington is shooting 45.2 percent from the floor as a team this season. The Mavericks connect on 8.7 threes a night while shooting 35.9 percent from beyond the arc. UT Arlington has to be better at the free throw line as they convert only 67.3 percent as a team. Kevin Hervey leads UT Arlington with 20.9 points plus 8.6 rebounds a contest. Erick Neal chips in 15.7 points and 6.9 assists per game while Johnny Hamilton (10.6 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Kaelon Wilson (11.6 points) each are averaging in double figures. Nathan Hawkins and Davion Turner are the only other players putting up more than 3.7 points a night for the Mavericks.
- No Key Trends
- Mavericks are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 home games
Georgia State is pretty much locked into the #2 seed for the Sun Belt Tournament barring a total collapse by a Louisiana team that has won 14 of their first 15 conference games. While it’s not impossible, it’s highly improbable. The Panthers beat the Mavericks last month at home by six but now they have to go on the road. UT Arlington is 12-2 at home and they’re coming off a pretty solid win of their own over Georgia Southern. Look for the Mavericks to even the score as they knock off the Panthers at home.