Georgia State will host Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the final non-conference home game of the year.
Surprising few, the Panthers have played unevenly in their first 10 games. Coach Ron Hunter is still working on finding a rotation on a roster that features nine players who didn’t play a minute for the Panthers last year.
The team’s inexperience has shown in the first half of games.
The team has been outscored by 57 points in the first half of games this year. In their five losses, they have trailed by an average of 13.4 points per game at the half. In the five wins, they have led by an average of two points at the half.
Their rallies in the second-half have been impacted by their inability to consistently hit free throws. The team is hitting just 65.4 percent of its free throws this year
Saturday’s loss at Troy is an example.
The Panthers trailed by 14 at the half, fought back to take a five-point lead in the final minutes, and then lost when James Vincent failed to hit two free throws at the buzzer. One made attempt would have tied the game. Two would have won it.
“We have not shot well from the line all season and in close games, the team that makes its free throws will be the one that wins every time,” Hunter said in a release given to the media.
The Panthers can’t continue either trend against the Eagles.
Southern Miss is 7-3 this year and is averaging 65.7 points per game. They are very good defensively, allowing 58.5 points per game on 38.3-percent shooting.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu