Georgia Southern rains 3′s on Georgia State in revenge win

Georgia State was defeated by Georgia Southern 84-70 on Jan. 20, 2024, in what is expected to be the final meeting at hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro. (Photo by Stan Awtrey)

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Georgia State was defeated by Georgia Southern 84-70 on Jan. 20, 2024, in what is expected to be the final meeting at hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro. (Photo by Stan Awtrey)

STATESBORO — Georgia State will be happy never to return to Hanner Fieldhouse.

The Panthers were drubbed by Georgia Southern 84-70 on Saturday, just seven days after drilling the Eagles by 38 points at the GSU Convocation Center. Georgia State is 26-8 all-time at Hanner, which is being replaced by a new, larger arena on the outskirts of the campus, meaning this is likely the final trip to the venerable old facility.

On Saturday, Southern did it from the 3-point arc, making a season-high 17 on 32 attempts. Georgia State was 6-for-23 on its 3-pointers.

“Seventeen 3-pointers … unconscionable,” Georgia State coach Jonas Hayes said. “And people are allowed to get that way. We allowed them to get that way on both ends of the basketball court. Defensively it was … I’m struggling to find the words.”

Unlike last week, when Southern made seven 3-pointers (in 34 attempts) in a 38-point loss in Atlanta, the Eagles had the range from the get-go. Their first three baskets were from long range, and they were 10-for-20 in the opening half, eclipsing their average of 9.6 per game that ranks 23rd in the nation.

“We absolutely got our butts kicked,” Hayes said. “Georgia Southern came out with a whole lot more fight than we did. We have not blinked this bad in I cannot remember. I cannot remember us playing this poorly, both offensively and defensively. Our guys weren’t tough enough. We got zero 50-50 balls, and we didn’t have the connectedness that’s required to win games at this level. It was absolutely as embarrassing an effort that we’ve put together.”

Georgia State (9-9, 3-4 Sun Belt) was led in scoring by Lucas Taylor with 20 points, but he was only 1-for-9 on 3-pointers. Brenden Tucker scored 19 points, Toneari Lane scored 17 and made 4 of 8 3′s. Jay’Den Turner had a team-high seven rebounds, ending a six-game streak of double-figure rebounds.

Georgia Southern (4-15, 4-3) was led by Cam Bryant with 19 points, including five 3-pointers, Tyren Moore with 15 points and eight assists, Avantae Parker with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Jamar Franklin with 11 points.

Southern made its big move midway in the opening half. The Eagles went on a 17-0 run that included three 3-pointers and a monster slam by Nate Brafford to take a 29-15 lead. Georgia State countered with a 9-0 run, but Southern quickly dropped three more 3′s in a 9-1 run to regain a 13-point lead. The Eagles led 43-31 at halftime.

“If you aren’t mentally tough enough, if you aren’t a tough dude, you crumble,” Hayes said. “And for the first time, I felt like we didn’t have the fight to respond.”

Georgia State cut the lead to 55-50 with 14:50 left, only to have Southern answer with a 9-0 run that included two more treys. Georgia State never got closer than 10 points the rest of the game.

“There was a lot of selfish behavior on the part of our basketball team today,” Hayes said. “It was mind-numbing.”

Hayes said he had no inkling such an effort was on the horizon. He said practice and preparation had been good since the Wednesday loss to Appalachian State.

“I thought our prep has been phenomenal,” Hayes said. “That carry-over thing is about to start showing back up. What are we doing, and how are going to carry that over? That’s what this is about.”

Georgia State also lost floor leader Dwon Odom to leg cramps for the second consecutive game. Odom went down with 5:29 left and was helped off the court by big Ed Nnamoko after being tended to by the trainer.

Georgia State has two more road games this week, going to Marshall on Wednesday night and to Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers aren’t home again until Feb. 1 vs. Appalachian State.

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