Poor shooting sends Georgia State to worst loss of season

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Georgia State’s first road game of the season resulted in its worst performance.

The Panthers could never overcome a cold shooting start and dropped a 66-46 decision to Northeastern at venerable Matthews Arena in Boston on Sunday.

“We’re going to do a deep dive on this one,” Georgia State coach Jonas Hayes said. “We’ll have a lot of time to reflect. (Georgia State doesn’t play again until Dec. 14 at Auburn.) We’re going to do a magnificent autopsy on this game.”

Georgia State’s three previous losses had come by a combined five points. Northeastern entered the game with only one win and was crushed by Georgia Tech by 18 points on Friday. Georgia Tech beat GSU by two points in November.

“We’ve got to play harder,” Hayes said. “We got away from the thing we’re trying to do and that’s establish ourselves from a physical standpoint, and we got caught trying to climb up a steep hill.”

Georgia State (5-4) got 11 points and eight rebounds from Ja’Heim Hudson and 10 points from Brenden Tucker.

“I thought Ja’Heim played a great second half,” Hayes said. “We’ve just got to find four other guys to go with him.”

The Panthers had a difficult time getting to the basket against Northeastern’s big lineup, particularly 6-foot-8 junior Alexander Nwagha and 6-7 guard Jahmyl Telfort, two of four Canadians on the roster. Telfort finished with 20 points and six rebounds, and Nwagha had 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Northeastern raced to an 11-2 lead. Georgia State got as close as six points at 13-7, but Northeastern used a 14-2 run late in the half and led 34-17 at the break. Georgia State shot only 21% in the first half on 6-for-23 shooting and failed to make a 3-point basket.

“The basket might have well been outside the arena,” Hayes said.

The second half didn’t go any better. Northeastern quickly extended its lead to 21, and Georgia State never got closer than 17 points. The Panthers finished shooting 27.8% from the field and 1-for-20 on 3s, that coming from Jamaine Mann with 5:28 remaining. That basket extended the school’s record of making a 3-pointer to 839 consecutive games, a streak that began on Feb. 18, 1995, against Stetson.

“This is another learning opportunity,” Hayes said. “Progress isn’t always linear. There’s going to be some hooks and turns.”

Georgia State and Northeastern were both members of the Colonial Athletic Conference from 2005-2013. Northeastern now leads the series 11-7.