Final stats attached
Georgia State Garners 77-71 Win Over UTA as Thomas Scores 1,000th Career Point
ATLANTA – Georgia State defeated UT Arlington 77-71 Saturday at GSU Sports Arena, as senior Jeff Thomas became the 21st Panther to reach the 1,000 career point mark.
Georgia State (15-6, 6-2 Sun Belt) snapped a two-game losing streak, its longest of the season, leading by as many as 16 points in the first half, but UT Arlington (9-12, 5-3 Sun Belt) would battle back, taking a four point lead early in the second half. But the Panthers would hit seven of its 10 3-pointers in the second half to help pull out the victory.
Thomas’s lay-up to open the game marked career point 1,000 on his way to scoring a game-high 27 and going 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. He moved into 18th on Georgia State’s career scoring list, passing Chris Collier and Travis Williams.
Kane Williams scored 16 points and added five assists off the bench for the Panthers. Jordan Tyson, who was inserted into the starting line-up, scored a career-high 11 points to go along with five rebounds and three blocked shots. Devin Mitchell hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch, scoring all 10 of his points in the second half.
Brian Warren led UT Arlington with 19 points, while Edric Dennis garnered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Rashad Davis just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
“As I told our guys, during a long season, you are going to have your ups and your downs,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “I’m proud that even though we were down in a valley, we worked hard to fight our way out. There is still a lot of basketball to play and as I always say, we want to be playing our best basketball in February and March. The next time we step on the court it will be February and I know our guys will be ready when Georgia Southern comes in next week.”
Thomas started the game with the hot hand for the Panthers, connecting on his first five shots, as Georgia State jumped out to a 16-point lead. The Mavericks battled back, riding a 12-0 run and tying the game with under a minute left in the half. Benlevi answered with a 3-pointer on the Panthers’ next possession, giving Georgia State a three-point advantage at halftime. Tyson scored all 11 of his points in the first half.
UT Arlington took its first lead of the game, 37-36, with 15:59 left and extended its lead four. But Georgia State answered with an 8-2 run to retake the lead, 52-49, with 10 minutes left. The teams traded baskets until Benlevi hit a 3-pointer, giving Georgia State a nine-point lead with 2:17 to play. Warren answered on the other end, hitting a three and pulling the Mavericks to within six with under two minutes left. After a free-throw by Williams, Dennis hit a pair on the other end, pulling the Mavericks to within five. After a steal by Damon Wilson, Williams was fouled, hitting his two shots from the line and giving the Panthers a seven-point advantage. A 3-pointer by Warren on the other end cut the Georgia State lead to four, but the Panthers beat the full-court press and avoided a foul, leading to a layup by Thomas to seal with win.
Georgia State finished with nine blocked shots and eight steals while also forcing 14 Maverick turnovers.
Georgia State will close out a three game homestand facing Georgia Southern on Feb. 2, at 1 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.
MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
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