Georgia State defeated James Madison 74-58 on Monday at the Sports Arena. The Panthers (14-6, 6-3) are undefeated at home this season, a perfect 10-0. They will play at Drexel on Wednesday, before hosting VCU on Saturday.
Here is the good and bad of Monday’s win.
James Fields. The senior tied a career-high with 21 points. He had eight rebounds and three steals. He was aggressive with the ball, driving the baseline and forcing James Madison to account for him.
Josh Micheaux. Benched before Saturday’s game at Delaware because opposing defenses simply stopped guarding him because he wouldn’t shoot, he responded with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He still seemed tentative to shoot, passing up a 3-pointer in the first half. But when he got the ball back, he drained the shot and took off from there. He said he had been overthinking and needed to follow his coach’s advice and get back to having fun.
Eric Buckner. He has been playing some of the best basketball of his career the past three games. Unfortunately and perhaps unfairly, it has been overshadowed by the fact that he missed two chances, one at the free-throw line and another layup, that could have won the game against the Blue Hens. He bounced back with 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Plus, he hit seven of eight free throws. Double-plus, he just looked mean.
The bench. The Panthers got 26 points from their bench. Aside from Micheaux, James Vincent added eight points and Rashaad Richardson added three more.
The defense. The Panthers forced 21 turnovers that they turned into 23 points.
Starting slowly. Because the Dukes were playing without Devon Moore, their starting point guard, this game shouldn’t have been close. The Dukes led by as many nine points in the first half and pulled to within three early in the second half.
Mental toughness. Coach Ron Hunter said his team has been playing tightly, which has gotten any better after the close losses. After they began to relax, they started to pull away from the Dukes. He said his team shouldn’t feel any pressure. It was picked to finish 11th. The pressure is on everyone else.
Free-throw shooting. Though Hunter laughs about it, this is something that has to improve come tournament time. The Panthers hit 16 of their 25 attempts.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu