Final stats attached
Georgia State Falls to Texas State 81-68 in Annual ‘Barefoot for Bare Feet’ Game
ATLANTA – Georgia State fell to Texas State 81-68 Thursday at GSU Sports Arena as head coach Ron Hunter went barefoot to raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet for a 12th-straight season. For Georgia State, it was just its second loss of conference play and first loss at home this season.
Senior Devin Mitchell led all scorers for Georgia State with 20 points while connecting on six 3-pointers to move into the top five in program history. Senior Jeff Thomas had 19 points and seven rebounds and D’Marcus Simonds added 15. Thomas is now just two points shy of 1,000 for his career.
The game was tied at the half, but Georgia State (14-6, 5-2 Sun Belt) shot just 37.0 percent in the second half and went scoreless for a stretch that lasted just over five minutes, as Texas State (17-3, 6-1 Sun Belt) went on an 18-0 run to seal the victory. The Bobcats entered the game receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Nijal Pearson scored a game-high 27 points for Texas State, and Tre Nottingham and Alex Peacock added 13 apiece. The two teams have now split the season series with each winning on the opponents’ home court.
“We just weren’t very good tonight,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We have to give a lot of credit to Texas State. I thought they outplayed us, were more physical and played with a lot more passion than we did. They beat us in every facet of the game, but we will figure it out and come back strong on Saturday.”
Texas State started the game on a 10-2 run, but Georgia State clawed its way back, keeping the game close until Thomas hit a corner 3-pointer, giving the Panthers their first lead of the game. Mitchell, Thomas and Simonds combined for 37 of Georgia State’s 42 first-half points as the teams went into halftime with the game tied. Mitchell hit five 3-pointers in the first half on eight attempts and Georgia State shot 57.1 percent from the field while going 8-for-16 from behind the arc.
Unfortunately Georgia State came out cold in the second half, only connecting on three of its first 11 shots as Texas State took an eight point lead at the 12-minute mark. Thomas would score seven of the Panthers’ next nine points as Georgia State cut the Bobcats’ lead to just two with seven minutes to play. But Texas State answered right back, connected on 3-pointers on three straight possessions and riding an 18-0 run while increasing its lead to as many as 20 in the game’s final minutes.
Simonds moved into second on GSU’s all-time scoring list with 1,509 points, passing Rodney Hamilton. The loss marked the first time in Hunter’s career (11-1) that his team has lost when coaching without shoes to raise awareness for an organization he became the face of in 2008.
Texas State outscored Georgia State 36-20 in the paint, while the Bobcat bench outscored the Panthers 18-0.
Georgia State will remain at home to host UT Arlington on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.
MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
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