GSU snaps losing streak

A road-weary UNC Wilmington team was just what Georgia State needed to snap a five-game losing streak Wednesday.

The Panthers used full-court pressure in the second half to slow the UNC Wilmington offense, and eventually the Seahawks wilted,losing 79-74 in the GSU Sports Arena.

Georgia State outscored the Seahawks 48-34 in the second half and was able to hold off a late charge for a victory against their Colonial Athletic Association opponent.

“I’m really proud of the effort my guys played with,” Georgia State coach Rod Barnes said. “It was a much-needed win probably more for the coach than anyone else.”

Georgia State had four players in double-figures. Trey Hampton and Joe Dukes each scored 17 points. Trae Golston scored 12 points. Kevin Lott had 10 points.

The victory was Georgia State’s first since a 70-61 victory against Towson on Jan. 2.

Georgia State began the second half with a 21-12 run to tie the score at 52. The Panthers took their second lead of the game when Dukes had a steal and layup to make the score 54-52 with 9:56 remaining in the game.

Georgia State (9-11, 3-5) followed that with a 17-11 run to make the score 71-63 with 3:19 remaining.

“I thought we picked up our intensity in the second half and wore them down a bit,” Dukes said.

But UNC Wilmington (6-13, 2-6) came back with an 8-2 run to cut the score to 73-71. The Seahawks had two chances to tie the score, but Georgia State’s Dante Curry blocked a layup by Ahmad Grant with 48 seconds left. UNC Wilmington’s John Fields, who scored 14 points, missed two free throws with 40 seconds left.

Georgia State then finished the game with a 6-3 run.

“We kind of let it slip away,” UNC Wilmington coach Benny Moss said.

UNC Wilmington has a five-game losing streak since a 57-50 victory against Georgia State on Jan. 6. Wednesday's loss gave the Seahawks an 0-3 record on their three-game conference road trip. It was the team’s third road game in five days.

Both teams struggled early. Georgia State missed two shots, had a shot-clock violation and a traveling call before Marques Johnson scored the first two points of the game on a jump shot from the top of the key.

UNC Wilmington first four possessions consisted of two missed shots, a turnover and a traveling violation, but the Seahawks rebounded from that to take a 15-8 lead.

UNC Wilmington increased its lead to 25-17 after a layup by Fields with 8:05 left in the first half.

Georgia State cut the lead to 33-29 after a free throw by Lott with 3:15 remaining.

UNC Wilmington led 40-31 at halftime. The Seahawks shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field and outrebounded Georgia State 20-13.