Malik Benlevi hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Georgia State to an 83-80 upset win over Alabama Tuesday. Georgia State overcame a 21-point halftime deficit, capped by the dramatic basket.
Georgia State (6-3) trailed 55-33 with 18:57 to play before mounting the comeback that included holding Alabama (5-3) without a field goal for more than nine minutes.
A lay-up by D’Marcus Simonds with 43 seconds left gave the Panthers their first lead, 80-78. Dazon Ingram tied the game for Alabama before Benlevi came down to hit the game-winner as time expired.
Benlevi, a senior, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Simonds, the Sun Belt preseason player of the year, finished with 23 points and five rebounds.
The win gave Georgia State its second win in the same season over a Power 5 opponent for just the second time in program history. The Panthers knocked off Georgia 91-67 in the Cayman Islands Classic two weeks ago for a 2-0 record against the SEC.
“I’m just really proud of my guys,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We were down 21 at the half and we had not played well. It has been a rough road stretch the last few weeks, but I told them to go out and leave it on the court in the second half. They gave me everything they had and I am extremely proud of each and everyone one of them.”
Jeff Thomas added 14 points and seven rebounds and Kane Williams chipped in with 12 points, five assists, and four rebounds.