Archive for November, 2011

Five football Panthers honored

Five Georgia State football players were named to the FCS Independent All-Conference Team, selected by College Sports Madness.

Albert Wilson made the team as a wide receiver and punt returner. He led the Panthers with 37 catches for 772 yards and six touchdowns.  He averaged 11.9 yards per punt return, eighth in the nation.

Donald Russell led the Panthers with 665 rushing yards and scored a team-high nine touchdowns.

Linebacker Jake Muasau had 56 tackles.

Ladeven Kirkland, a guard, helped the Panthers average 167.9 rushing yards per game.

Demarius Matthews led the team with nine pass break-ups.
– Doug Roberson, AJC.

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Georgia State hammers South Carolina State

Georgia State earned its fourth consecutive victory with a 85-54 win at South Carolina State on Tuesday. It’s the team’s longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season and the largest margin of victory on the road in school history.

The Panthers (4-3) shot 51.5 percent, including 62.5 percent in the first half.

Eric Buckner scored 21 points and Devonta White added 17, including hitting 4-of-5 from the 3-point line.

“Tonight was the first time this year that I felt as though we really played a well-rounded game,” first-year coach Ron Hunter said in a statement. “I thought we came out a little slow, but then our bench got things going. They played with energy and were able to give us some three-pointers which was really important.”

The Panthers bench, which usually involves just three players in Hunter’s preferred eight-man rotation, outscored the Bulldogs 36-9.

Buckner, whom Hunter singled out before the season as a player that could flourish in the up-tempo system, …

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Curry reviews Georgia State’s season

First, I want to apologize that you haven’t had a blog for the past few days. I was on vacation last week and Monday.

I’ll be at the basketball games on Thursday and Saturday. Hope to see you there.

Anyway, enough about me.

Here’s an end-of-the season review with football coach Bill Curry. Answers have been paraphrased in some instances.

Q: What will be the emphasis in the offseason for the team?

A: The priority coming off the severe disappointment is to have a plan to immediately get to work on the things that really matter.

No. 1 is final exams

No. 1a. is any sort of misunderstandings or controversies related to academics…violations, that sort of thing.

We have to go right to work, getting ready for our football team to be improved. We are already back in the weight room. The team is enthused to work, to get better starting now; not starting in January, starting now.

Coaches are meeting with players, talking academics and performance. And I am meeting with players. I’ve …

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GSU dumps Liberty, wins third in a row

Jihad Ali scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half as Georgia State collected its third consecutive victory, rolling 72-50 past Liberty (2-5) Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena.

Ali, a senior from Atlanta, was 6 of 6 on field-goal attempts, including four 3-pointers for the Panthers (3-3). Devonta White scored 15, and Eric Buckner blocked a career-high seven shots, to go along with nine points and seven rebounds.

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GSU survives Samford for 2nd victory

Reserve Jihad Ali scored a team-high 20 points to push Georgia State (2-3) past Samford 55-47 at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham on Tuesday.

It was the second victory in a row for the Panthers, who collected their first road win for new coach Ron Hunter.

Ali hit 7-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-6 3-pointers, finishing two points shy of a career-high set against George Mason last season.

“As coaches, you always want to play well and get the victory,” Hunter said. “Sometimes you have to learn to win when things do not necessarily go your way … as was the case tonight. We did not play well, but we were able to do the things we needed to for the win.

“I am proud of the defensive effort we gave again tonight. This is the second straight game that we have held a team to 50 points or fewer and that is not easy to do. If we keep playing great defense and getting the rebounds that we are getting, the scoring will come.”

Notable

  • Senior Josh Micheaux finished one …

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Recapping Georgia State’s win over Campbell

The game that was

By no means was it a complete game, but Georgia State finished its disappointing season with a 42-35 victory over Campbell. The Panthers (3-8) tried to let the Camels back into the game, but for once they were able to keep a win from slipping away in the fourth quarter.

What we learned

1. The offense ended well. The Panthers set numerous school records, including total yards (514) and rushing yards (301). The new mark broke the old mark of 447, set just last week. Quarterback Kelton Hill looks more comfortable running the offense, passing for 213 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for another. Donald Russell eschewed his one-cut style and started bouncing around more looking for creases to run through. The result was a game-high 146 yards.

2. The defense did not end well. The Camels were able to come back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to within a touchdown. Recovered onsides kick kept them from completing the rally. At times they scored too …

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Hill leads Georgia State to big victory

Kelton Hill single-handedly tried to give Georgia State the complete game it hasn’t had all season, including one of the most exciting plays in the team’s short history.

Hill passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another to lead Georgia State to a 42-35 win over Campbell in the Panthers’ regular-season finale on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Other than a few hiccups by his special teams, it was close to the type of performance that coach Bill Curry said earlier this week that he’s been waiting all season to see.

The offense dominated with a school-record 514 yards. Hill not only tied a single-game record for scoring passes, but also passed for 213 yards and rushed for 141 more. Combined with Donald Russell’s 146 yards, the team posted its first game with two 100-yard rushers and set a school record with 301 rushing yards.

The defense did just enough, limiting the Camels to 338 yards and creating two turnovers.

Leading 14-7, Hill hit Jordan Giles on the first play of the …

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Free throws lift Panthers in home opener

A dominating second half carried Georgia State to a 69-50 victory against McNeese State in its home opener at GSU Sports Arena on Friday night, handing new coach Ron Hunter his first victory at the school.

Devonta White scored a career-high 23 points to carry the Panthers (1-3) after GSU had a mediocre first half shooting the ball.

Hunter was thrilled with the victory as well as his team’s 18-of-19 effort from the free-throw line as they handled the Cowboys (1-2).

“The first half was too much like how we played in Seattle and that is not good enough to get the job done. The light switch went off over the final 20 minutes and you could really see the confidence build in our team,” Hunter said.

“From the very first practice that we had, I talked about us needing to hit free throws. We were the worst free-throw shooting team in the country last year and I guaranteed that it would not happen again this year. We have put a lot of time and energy into free-throw shooting in …

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Georgia State hoops with home-opener tonight

As the Georgia State football team wraps up its season on Saturday with a game against Campbell at the Georgia Dome, the men’s basketball team will have its home opener tonight against McNeese State.

New coach Ron Hunter’s team is 0-for-3 this season, losing each game in Seattle.

But the three losses aren’t discouraging. The team is still learning Hunter’s offensive and defensive systems, so rough spots are to be expected.

But the bight spots are pretty encouraging.

After shooting 29 percent in the first half of the loss to Portland, the Panthers hit 44 percent in the second half.  Though they outscored their opponents by three in the second half, the nine-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome. The Panthers created 19 turnovers, seven more they were guilty of, and had 19 offensive rebounds. That may have resulted in sacrificing defense. Portland shot 52 percent in the game.

It was a similar story against Florida Atlantic.

The Panthers shot poorly in the first half …

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Georgia State vs. Campbell

Three storylines for Georgia State’s game against Campbell at the Georgia Dome.

Can the Panthers play a complete game? Coach Bill Curry said the goal this week is to finally play a complete game and to do it with dignity. The Panthers have had good singular quarters in which the offense, defense and special teams have all played well. They have also had good halves and even good segments of three quarters. Curry said putting it all together for four quarters would be a good jumping-off point for the offseason, which promises to be filled with work.

Can Kelton Hill reduce the mistakes? Hill was spectacular throughout most of last week’s game. He passed for 228 yards and rushed for a school-record 152 more. However, his inexperience showed with two interceptions and a lost fumble at West Alabama’s 2-yard line. He’s had flashes of brilliance in each of his four starts.

Will the special teams ever get better? What was perhaps the team’s biggest strength last year has turned into …

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