Georgia State was beaten by Delaware 77-74 in two overtimes on Saturday. It was the Panthers’ (13-6, 5-3) second consecutive loss. They will host James Madison on Monday.
Eric Buckner (part I). The senior had a double-double, with 19 points and 15 rebounds. He also had four blocks.
Brandon McGee. The senior, starting for the first time in 12 games, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“I thought that was big,” coach Ron Hunter said about the switch. “It opened the floor for us. Best start we’vve gotten off to in over two months. You have to guard Brandon. He played really good basketball. We are going to stay with it.”
Quick hands (part I). The team had 15 steals.
First-half defense. In yesterday’s blog I asked if Delaware would be able to do what Northeastern did against Georgia State. Turns out they did.
Delaware missed its first 14 shots. It then hit 8 3-pointers in the final 12 minutes, 6 seconds of the first half. In the first halves of its past two games, Georgia State has given up 16 3-pointers. The Panthers were one of the Colonial Athletic Association’s best teams at defending the 3-point shot. The Blue Hens finished with 12 3-pointers. Hunter said he was as happy with the team’s effort on defense as he has been in several games.
“At some point you have to give the offense credit,” Hunter said. “They were all contested.”
Eric Buckner (part II). This isn’t all on Buckner, who had a very good game, but he is an unfortunate example of the team’s poor free-throw shooting. The Panthers, one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in college basketball last season (59.4 percent), hit just 7 of their 15 free throws. Buckner had a chance to win the game with 1.6 seconds in regulation, but missed one of his two free throws. He also missed free throws in the final minute of the loss at Northeastern. The Panthers hit 6 of 10 in that 60-57 loss. He also missed a put-back at the end of the first overtime that would have won the game.
The bench. Hunter put Brandon McGee into the starting lineup to try and spark the offense. The team did surpass 60 points for the first time in three games. But the bench had very little to do with it, contributing just nine points in 38 minutes of play.
“It’s been that way every since we brought Jihad [Ali] back,” Hunter said. “That’s just who we are. Some things you can’t just change. You are who you are.”
Some players seems to be struggling with their offensive identity, such as Josh Micheaux and Tony Kimbro Jr.
3-point shooting. GSU hit just five of its 17 3-pointers, around its season average. Some of GSU’s players won’t put up the shots anymore, which puts more pressure on the offense. McGee missed two in the second overtime. Both seemed to rattle around before bouncing out.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu