Rebounding woes lead to Georgia State’s sixth consecutive loss

Georgia State's Lucas Taylor scored a career-high 28 points in the 90-62 win over Georgia Southern on Jan. 13, 2024, at the GSU Convocation Center.

Credit: Daniel Wilson

Credit: Daniel Wilson

Georgia State's Lucas Taylor scored a career-high 28 points in the 90-62 win over Georgia Southern on Jan. 13, 2024, at the GSU Convocation Center.

The inability to keep the opposition off the boards has been one of the main reasons that Georgia State is riding a six-game losing streak. It happened again Saturday when the Panthers lost a 78-74 decision to Troy at the GSU Convocation Center.

Troy had 20 offensive rebounds – the most GSU has surrendered to an opponent this season – and outrebounded the Panthers 48-32. It was the sixth consecutive game in which Georgia State has been outrebounded and the fifth time during that stretch in which the Panthers allowed at least 12 offensive boards.

“When you play a team like Troy, you cannot give up 20 offensive rebounds,” GSU coach Jonas Hayes said. “Those extra possessions we gave them absolutely killed us. … If you give a team like that 20 offensive rebounds, you’re stacking the cards against you.”

Some of those offensive rebounds led to 17 second-chance points for the Trojans (15-8, 7-2 Sun Belt). Other times they allowed Troy, the No. 1-ranked offensive rebounding team in the conference, to reset its offense and run another play, typically deep into the shot clock.

“You do your darndest to guard for 25 seconds and you do a great job, great effort, great ball pressure, and you give up an offensive rebound and you guard for 15 more seconds, that’s a 40-second defensive possession,” Hayes said. “That’s the most frustrating thing about it. It’s not a question of capability, it’s awareness and willingness, being willing to do it. It’s about desire.”

Dwon Odom, all 6-foot-2 of him, led the Panthers with seven rebounds.

“That’s a really good team, but we gave up a lot of extra plays, a lot of extra rebounds,” Odom said. “Just got to push forward and find ways to impact the game, whether that’s by rebounds, whether that’s by scoring.”

Georgia State, which started the season as one of the Sun Belt’s top rebounding teams, now ranks fifth overall in the league. But against conference teams, the Panthers are 12th in the 14-team league.

“For a while, we were the No. 1 rebounding team in the conference, and that has gone in the tank,” Hayes said. “We’ve got to get that back, and that could be a difference.”

Georgia State was led by Lucas Taylor with 22 points, his fifth game with 20-plus points. Taylor was 4-for-5 on 3-pointers and has scored in double figures in six of the past seven games.

Jay’Den Turner scored 15, Odom had 12 points and Leslie Nkereuwem scored 10.

Odom scored his 1,000th career point in the second half, joining teammates Brenden Tucker and Turner to reach that milestone this season.

“Grateful to be able to have that as an accomplishment,” Odom said. “Really grateful for it, just looking forward to getting a win.”

The Panthers (9-13, 4-7) already were without 6-foot-6 Jumaine Mann because of the flu and lost 6-8 Edward Nnamoko with a badly sprained ankle with 10:21 left. Nnamoko was limited to 12 minutes and will receive treatment before the next game, Wednesday against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Georgia State women (13-8, 7-4) won the first game of the doubleheader, defeating Georgia Southern 74-49 behind the 19-point performance of Mya Williams. The Panthers swept the two-game series against their rivals.

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