Georgia State was beaten 80-77 by Delaware in overtime on Saturday at the Sports Arena. It’s the second time this season that the teams played in overtime. The Blue Hens won both.
The Panthers (17-9,9-6) will play at James Madison on Tuesday.
Josh Micheaux. Coach Ron Hunter said earlier this week that Micheaux was playing the best basketball of his career. He scored 26 points, more than any Georgia State player this season, before fouling out with less than a minute left in regulation. Unofficially, 23 of those points came on drives to the basket and the subsequent free throws. Hunter said he challenged Micheaux at halftime because he felt Delaware was playing tougher than his team was. He needed Micheaux, his toughest player, to step up. He scored eight points during a 17-0 run in the half.
Jihad Ali. He added 15 points and nine rebounds. His free throws sent the game into overtime. After Eric Buckner and Micheaux fouled out, Ali became the team’s post presence. He was more animated tonight than I can remember seeing him this season.
CAA race. The Panthers’ hopes of securing a top-four seed in the CAA tournament aren’t dead, but they might as well be. They needed to win the rest of their conference games and hope Old Dominion lost at least two. Now, they will need some major upsets to make it happen. They are tied with Delaware for fifth place, but the Blue Hens have the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Here’s the remaining conference schedules for the teams ahead of the Panthers:
Feb. 14 vs. VCU 9 p.m. CSS
Feb. 22 at Northeastern 7 p.m. ESPN3
Feb. 25 at VCU 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
Feb. 14 vs.William & Mary 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 vs. JMU 7 p.m. ESPNU
Feb. 25 at Old Dominion 4 p.m. CSS
Feb. 14 at George Mason 9 p.m. CSS
Feb. 22 at UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs. George Mason 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
Feb. 14 vs. UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 at Georgia State 7 p.m
Feb. 25 vs. Drexel 4 p.m. CSS
Feb. 14 at Hofstra, 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 at Towson, 7 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs. Northeastern, noon
Georgia State has games at James Madison, at home against Old Dominion and at William and Mary remaining. They could go 3-0, and the Hens 2-1. It’s also possible ODU could lose two of its last three games. The Monarchs won’t likely lose to UNCW.
3-point shooting: The Panthers hit 3 of 14.
The officiating. I’m reluctant to do this because of the can of worms it opens, but the officiating played an important role in the loss to Delaware. Georgia State was called for 27 fouls, more than in any other game this season. Delaware was called for 20, more than in any game in almost a month. Eric Buckner and Josh Micheaux fouled out. Khalid Lewis fouled out for Delaware.It’s not odd to foul out, but the calls that fouled them out were less than obvious.
Fouls are fouls. However, there were so many off-the-ball fouls called it disrupted the flow and momentum of the game. Asked if he can remember a game with so many off-the-ball calls, Hunter said, “I’ll say this. You have to earn respect. I’m fortunate in the league I was in before we used to get all those calls. Now we are coming up … we will get those.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu