Georgia State led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but couldn’t keep up with Troy in the second, losing Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in New Orleans.
Isaiah Williams led the Panthers with 19 points in their 74-63 loss. Wesley Person led Troy with 16 points.
Georgia State (20-12) will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament.
“Our team is excited to continue to play,” Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said. “Postseason basketball is special. We came up shy of our ultimate goal, but now we will look to win this championship and cut down the nets in a few weeks.”
Here are three things to know about the Panthers’ Sun Belt tournament loss to Troy:
1. Their offense struggled in the second half. The Panthers finished the first half with 37 points, but their offense ran out of gas in the second, scoring only 26. The Panthers shot 24 percent from the field in the second half and 14 percent from 3-point range. The Trojans took the ball to the paint in the second half and found their rhythm, scoring 46 second-half points and shooting 55 percent from the field. The Panthers shot 36 percent from the field overall.
2. Fouls doomed the Panthers. On Friday night in the quarterfinals, the Panthers allowed Louisiana-Lafayette to shoot 31 free throws. This game wasn’t much different, as the Panthers allowed the Trojans to get to the free-throw line 36 times. The Trojans shot 61 percent from the line. The Panthers committed 25 fouls, and three players committed more than four each.
3. Turnovers were crucial again. Coach Ron Hunter talked about his team needing to commit no more than 12 turnovers per game to win the tournament. The Panthers committed 17 turnovers, and the Trojans scored 24 points off them. The Panthers forced only 12 Trojans turnovers and scored only 16 points off them. Sloppy ballhandling and foul trouble played key roles in the Panthers’ loss.