Roberts, Allen help GSU end drought against Charleston

The Georgia State basketball team will take a lot of positives into the holiday break.

The Panthers got 20 points apiece from Justin Roberts and Corey Allen on Monday and rolled to a 72-55 win over the College of Charleston at the GSU Sports Arena.

The win broke Georgia State’s 12-game losing streak to the Cougars and sends the Panthers (6-1) into the holiday break with its best start since winning seven straight to open the 2000-01 season.

It was the third time Roberts has topped the 20-point mark this season, the second for Allen. Roberts was 7-for-10 the field, 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, with six assists. Allen was 7-for-9 from the floor, 6-for-7 on 3-pointers – matching his season high – with six rebounds.

Georgia State center Eliel Nsoseme was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor for 10 points and had 10 rebounds for his second double-double.

Charleston (2-5) continue to struggle without all-Colonial Athletic Association player Brevin Galloway, who sustained a season-ending ACL injury on Dec. 11. They were led by Payton Willis with 15 points and Osinachi Smart with nine rebounds.

Panthers feasted on 3-pointers in the first half, making 8 of 15. But they took only four shots out there in the second half when they were more focused on working the paint.

Georgia State built a 43-28 halftime lead largely on the success of its 3-pointers. The Panthers made 8 treys in the first half and used them to break open an 11-11 tie. Back-to-back 3s by Roberts pushed the lead to 10 points and a later 10-0 run was punctuated by a 3 from Allen and gave the Panthers a 14-point lead. Allen then swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to make the lead 15 points.

Georgia State stretched the lead to 17 on a short jumper by Thomas with 16:48 left for a 49-32 lead. But Charleston turned up the defense and went on a 9-0 run to cut the margin to 49-41. Ahe Panthers found Roberts in the corner for an open 3-pointer, Charleston cut the lead to five on back-to-back 3-pointers from reserve Brenden Tucker with 11:13 remaining.

That’s when Georgia State regained control with an 8-0 run and Charleston never got any closer than 11 points the rest of the game.

Georgia State won’t play again until it opens Sun Belt Conference play with two games at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 1-2.