The good and bad of Georgia State’s win over James Madison

Georgia State defeated James Madison 67-64 on Tuesday in Harrisonburg, Va. Free throws, the team’s weaknesses this season, was a strength against the Dukes.

The Panthers, hitting 64.6 percent of their free throws this season, hit nine of 10 in the final 3:06, including five of six in the final minute, to secure the win.

With three games remaining, the Panthers need only to win two to hit the 20-victory plateau. They will host Texas-San Antonio on Saturday.

Here’s the good and bad (which doesn’t include that the team is taking a bus all the way back to Atlanta) of Tuesday’s victory:

The Good

Jihad Ali. He scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both team highs. He has scored at least 12 points in seven consecutive games.

Free throws. It’s been so rare this season I figure I’d mention it again. They hit 21 of 24 in the game. The 21 tied for the second-most made this season.

Devonta White. He scored 13 points, including a 3-pointer with less two minutes remaining.

Rashaad Richardson. He lost his starting spot to Brandon McGee, but still scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

The Bad.

The conference race. The Panthers  need help to keep alive their hopes of finishing in fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association, which comes with a bye in the conference tournament. The teams they are chasing, Delaware and Old Dominion, won Tuesday. With two conference games remaining, the Panthers need the Monarchs to lose both, and the Blue Hens to lose at least one. Georgia State will host Old Dominion on Feb. 22.

Killer instinct. The Panthers again couldn’t put away a team when it had a big lead. The Panthers led by 11 in the first half and twice led by nine in the second half. Each time the Dukes rallied enough to make the game interesting. Other examples from the recent past:

  • GSU lead Delaware by seven less than three minutes into the game, only to lose in overtime.
  • The Panthers led Northeastern by 12 less than seven minutes into the game and had to rally to win, 61-59.


Is you were curious, Pike High School was defeated by Hamilton Southeastern 107-98 on Tuesday. Pike is led by R.J. Hunter, son of Georgia State coach Ron Hunter. R.J. was playing his last game at home. He scored a team-high 31 points.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

13 comments Add your comment


February 14th, 2012
11:21 pm

31 points! Wow, RJ will bring some offense next year. Good road win, but as you mention Doug, that killer instinct and our inability to put teams away is unsettling. Got to find a way to properly close out games. On to UTSA.

February 14th, 2012
11:24 pm

First winning conference record since joining the CAA. Very proud of this team and happy for the seniors.

RJ will be a beast for GSU. Can’t wait to see him in Panther blue.


February 15th, 2012
12:00 am

Fun to think where this team would be if it could hit FTs like that every game. Let’s finish strong!!


February 15th, 2012
12:24 am

Hunter is getting this out a team that is not even his own recruits. Imagine what it will be like once he has a roster full of his own players.

Some people are just winners and Hunter is one of them.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 15th, 2012
1:16 am

FT’s make a world of difference. Ugly win, but I’ll take it and hope that we win out, especially in CAA play. Now we just need Delaware and ODU to have a few more losses and grab that 4th seed.

James Fields was also throwing up the worst shots I have ever seen in my life, not sure what was going through his head while attempting them. I hope he gets under control and gets back to playing to his full capability.

All in all, instill cannot believe that we have 18 wins so far this year, thanks Ron Hunter!


February 15th, 2012
8:54 am

A W is a W. Interesting to me is the number of fouls called this game as opposed to the Delaware game. Don’t believe our guys played any different but 41 (in regulation) fouls vs 24 fouls seems to indicate very inconsistent ref’g. Ref’g that changes the flow of games.

Max Sizemore

February 15th, 2012
9:40 am

There’s an upside to finishing fifth in the conference. They will play a first-round game against a lower seed, thus giving them a chance to add a win to their total. If they win only one of the final three regular-season games, that would be win No. 20.


February 15th, 2012
10:29 am

On JMU’s 3 point shooting. Semenov made 6 of 8 3 pointers. Some questioned defending the 3. How can our guards defend a 6-7 3 point shooter? Not well I think. Here is a guy who is a 42% 3 point shooter hitting 49 of 116 in 28 games or an average of 1.75 of 4.14 a game. Roughly, he shot twice as many 3 but made 3.5 times more than normal. This was record shooting for him. Without the once in a season or career fantastic shooting our margin of victory would have been 8 – 12 points. Running into people having these kind of days I believe distorts our defensive play and victory margin.

Doug Roberson

February 15th, 2012
10:44 am

It’s interesting that Georgia State usually does a decent job against the other team’s best scorer, but it seems like there’s usually one player on the other team that does the unexpected against the Panthers: consider Delaware’s Threatt, who averages something like 7 points game but scored more than 40 combined against the Panthers in their two games.
There are other examples, but that one comes to mind.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]


February 15th, 2012
10:49 am

Great recap Doug.

It has been an interesting trend to see the opposing team who steps up huge against our D this season. I’ve been extremely impressed with the play of the Freshman in the CAA this year as a whole and we’ve withstood a barrage from unexpected places.

Onward & upward. Sports Arena on Saturday. Let’s go get #19!


February 15th, 2012
2:40 pm

Agreed, making the Free Throws were the difference last night. Keep it up guys and take that into Richmond. GO GSU PANTHERS!!!

[...] have made a bad habit recently of failing to put away games when they had a chance to do so.  Doug Roberson wrote the team has lacked a killer instinct and managed to keep games closer than they should be and have [...]