Cougars Have No Answer For Hot Shooting Panthers
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
Corey Allen opened with back to back 3-pointers for Georgia State as the home team was off and running. Another long range missile by Allen past the midway point in the first half capped off a 19-6, as the Panthers opened up a double digit lead en route to a 72-55 victory over the College of Charleston men’s basketball team. Allen and fellow team mate Justin Roberts would finish with a game high tying 20 points apiece.
The Panthers pretty much doubled up the Cougars in the opening period, outshooting Charleston 66% to 33% from the floor, adding eight from long range to just four for CofC, as they went up by 15 points (43-28) at intermission.
CofC Head Coach Earl Grant took note. “Obviously, it was a disappointing first half. We got out to a slow start and they (Georgia State) got off to a hot start. They had eight threes in the first half. We didn’t cover a couple of their shooters the way we needed to.”
The first five minutes of the second half was much of the same until the Cougars hit a offensive streak. Down 49-32 with 16:48 left to play Charleston put together a 15-3 run, coming to an end with a 3-pointer by Keegan Harvey with just over 11 minutes remaining. Eight unanswered by the Panthers would extend the margin to double digits, as the Cougars seemingly came up empty, finishing the final seven minutes on the tail end of a 12-8 run by Georgia State.
CofC’s Payton Willis followed up 16 point performance Friday night, leading the Cougars with 15 points. The senior guard connected on 6 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Brenden Tucker was the only other Cougar in double figures, coming in off the bench for 11 points, with two from long range. Osinachi Smart grabbed a team high nine rebounds for Charleston.
With Brevin Galloway out for the season, the Cougars have had to alter their initial game plan, allowing for more players to see action said Grant. “We played a lot of young guys in the second half. They gave us a great lift, so that was encouraging.” Grant however gave GSU their due. “Give Georgia State credit. They did what they needed to do to win the game.”
Coach Grant added the 2020-21 season is now a work in progress. “This team is still searching for all of the guys that can help us. With a lot of new guys, some guys haven’t gotten much of an opportunity. Certainly tonight, Brenden (Tucker) played a lot of minutes and gave us a great lift as well as D’Avian Houston. Keegan (Harvey) made some shots and that was good to see. It’s nice to see those young guys step-up and do some good things for us.”
Georgia State finished the contest shooting 58 percent, making 11 of 21 from 3-point land. Eliel Nsoseme went 5 of 5 adding 10 points for the home team, while hauling in a game high 10 boards. With the win GSU improve to 6-1 with CofC suffering their second straight loss, falling to 2-5 on the season.
After the holiday break, Charleston will hope to get back on the winning track, and put an end to a two game losing streak. The Cougars open Colonial Athletic Association play on the road with a pair of back-to-back league games at Delaware (2-3) on Saturday, Jan. 2, and Sunday, Jan. 3 at 2p.m. (ET) in Newark, Del.
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