After Belmont threw the ball away, Georgia State had a chance to tie with 29.5 seconds left, but Odom’s drive was knocked away and Belmont grabbed the loose ball. GSU still had a chance when Ja’Kobi Gillespie missed the front end of a one-and-one with 7.1 seconds remaining. Stubbs grabbed the rebound and fed Odom, whose drive to the basket missed and was still loose when the horn sounded.
“We were just trying to push to get to the rim,” Odom said. “There were about seven seconds left, so you’ve got to know your situation. We practice stuff like that all the time off a missed free throw, and we’re just trying to make the best play.”
It was the right play, Hayes said. “When you’ve got this dude with the ball in his hands, he’s one of the best in the country at creating and getting to the paint before the defense gets set. One hundred times out of 100 in that situation there’s going to be something.”
Odom scored 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting and had eight rebounds, four assists and one steal.
“I think the last minute we just came together as a team,” said Georgia State’s Jamaine Mann, who produced 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals. “That was a really good team. That last minute showed we can really hang with anybody. We know we can play. We play hard.”
Georgia State’s Ja’Heim Hudson added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Stubbs had 11 points and two of the team’s four 3-pointers.
Belmont (4-3) got 24 points from Drew Friberg, who made seven 3s, and 15 from Sheppard, a local product from Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross.
Georgia State (4-3) plays again at home on Thursday against Middle Georgia.