Georgia State was defeated by Northeastern 60-57 on Wednesday at Matthews Arena.
It was just the Panthers’ (13-5, 5-2) second loss in their last 15 games, but knocked them out of a first-place tie atop the Colonial Athletic Association. GSU will play at Delaware on Saturday.
Eric Buckner. The senior and center led the team with 17 points, six rebounds and six blocks.
Rebounding. The Panthers outrebounded (33-24) their opponent for the second consecutive game. But the Huskies seemed content to keep bombing 3-pointers, enabling Georgia State to surround the basket.
Free-throw shooting. The Panthers’ Achilles Heel last season, the team worked diligently on it during the offseason, even engaging in a good-natured contest against GSU President Mark Becker. However, with the team trailing by 3 and less than a minute remaining, Buckner missed two free throws. The Panthers were 6 of 10 for the game.
3-point defense. Despite playing what looked and sounded (shoutout to Dave Cohen) what seemed like good defense, the Huskies ripped the nets with 11 3-pointers. The Panthers were allowing 31-percent shooting from behind the arc this season. Was this a one-game mirage, or did the Huskies find something on film? I think coach Ron Hunter would likely be glad to see the other team shoot 21 3-pointers in most games.
The bench. For the third time in five games, the Panthers’ bench failed to provide much of a spark. Rashaad Richardson provided the only points on a 3-pointer in the first half. Hunter has a tough choice to make. Ali is the team’s only consistent jump shooter, so he needs to have him in the starting lineup. However, he also needs something from his bench. Richardson and James Vincent provided those sparks in the previous two games. Vincent failed to score against the Huskies, playing just three minutes.
Turnovers. The Panthers committed 13 turnovers, which isn’t bad. However, other than one spurt early in the second half, they couldn’t create any consistent pressure. The Panthers need that pressure to generate their offense because they are not a jump-shooting team.
“Road games in the CAA are tough. After getting down by 10, our team fought back and showed great effort. They never quit and I am proud of them for that. They showed me tonight that they really wanted to win and they left everything out on the court.
“There are still certain things we need to work on, but this is a process and we just want to make sure we are playing our best ball come March.”
– Ron Hunter, GSU coach.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu