USA Falls To Hot Shooting Georgia State In Atlanta

February 4, 2014 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 

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Jaguar seniors Antoine Allen and Augustine Rubit scored 19 and 16 points on Monday night in Atlanta against Georgia State, but was not enough to overcome the hot shooting Panthers 85-65.

The win extended the Panthers school record winning streak to 13 games and improves them to 16-6 overall and a perfect 9-0 in Sun Belt play. The Jags fell to 7-15 overall and only 1-8 in Conference play.

The numbers do not lie, Georgia State converted 65.2% from the floor in the first half and over 72% from outside the arc. Their top three scorers combined to go 10-of-15 from three-point range.

GSU jumped out to a 17 point lead on a 15-2 run midway through the first half. Manny Atkins opened the run with a three in the first of six consecutive possessions with a score for the Panthers. Ryan Harrow scored seven of the 15 points during that run including the final two points.

The Jags kept chipping away at the lead in the second half and held the Panthers without a field goal for 4:39 as Rubit and Allen combined for 14 of the Jaguars 19 points during to begin the half.

A three by Allen would trim the lead down to 57-46 with 9:05 left in the game, but GSU would score eight of the next 10 points and 14 of the next 19 points to take a 20 point lead on USA with 5:26 left in the game.

Allen led the Jags with 19 points as he went 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-6 from from three-point range. Rubit added 16 points and six rebounds. Ken Williams was the only other Jag to reach double-digits scoring with 10. Barrington Stevens III had a team high five assists to go with his five points.

R.J. Hunter led all scorers with 24 points as he went 7-of-9 from the field and 5-of-6 from long range. Ryan Harrow and Manny Atkins both added 20 points each. Curtis Washington was the only other Panther in double-digits with 10 points.

“Tonight we had a gameplan of not letting certain guys shoot 3s and laying off a couple of others, but unfortunately they were 8-for-11 from the 3s and the Harrow kid, who normally shoots 26 percent from 3, made three out of four and got them in a really good rhythm,” Jaguar head coach Matthew Graves said after the game. “They’re very talented offensively and once they get going they’re hard to stop.”

“I felt like in the second half, we made a nice adjustment defensively and made it tough in that first 10-to-12 minutes,” Graves said. “We kept them off balance and kept attacking, but with a team like this at home, you can only take so many punches. They kept making big shots and big 3-pointers. When a team shoots 63 percent on you, you’re asking for a long night.”

“Our two seniors did what seniors are supposed to do on the road and it was good that they stepped up and shot a good percentage,” Graves stated. “When Antoine takes good shots, he’s more than capable of making them and if he plays within the offense, he can really do some positive things for us.”

“I did think we did a better job of getting Augustine and Mychal (Ammons) the ball down inside. I know it doesn’t show in Mychal’s numbers per se but he got more touches than he normally does and Aug was able to get free early. In the first half he had three turnovers so he has to understand once we get him the ball he’s got to be strong with it and continue to take it up towards the basket.”

“I was really encouraged offensively. We had 14 assists on 26 field goals, which is moving in the right direction, like we did in the last game,” Graves continued. “We had nine turnovers in the first half and finished the game with 12, so we did a better job of taking care of the ball. I’m hoping we’re starting to build some positive momentum on the offensive end of the floor as we move into our game on Thursday.”

South Alabama will travel to Troy on Thursday to face their in-state rival. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30pm and can be heard on 105.5 WNSP and WNSP.com.

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