ATLANTA - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team took a break from its regular season schedule to face NCAA Division I foe Georgia State University on Saturday afternoon in the GSU Sports Arena. The size and strength of the Panthers proved to be too much for the Hurricanes to overcome as Georgia State rolled to an 83-52 victory.
Georgia State improved its record to 5-3 this season. For the Hurricanes, the game counts as an exhibition according to NCAA rules regarding Division I versus Division II games during the regular season. So GSW's record stands at 1-4.
After falling behind 10-0 out of the gate, GSW rattled off seven consecutive points - sparked by five straight from Tyrone Wooten - and trailed by three after five minutes. Georgia State responded with 9-0 run to stretch its lead to a dozen, but the Hurricanes wouldn't back down. Brandon Price knocked down a pair of free throws and Jordan Banks sank a jumper to cut the lead to eight points, 19-11. The GSW deficit remained eight points until the 6:41 mark.
Georgia State slowly built upon its lead and back-to-back 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the half sent the Panthers into the break with a comfortable 39-22 advantage.
Devin Watson drained a 3-pointer to open the second half and pull GSW within 14 points, 39-25, but Georgia State answered with a 20-4 run that put the game out of reach for good.
The Panthers controlled the battle on the boards with 21 more rebounds than GSW, 43-22, and were more accurate from the floor. Georgia State sank 29 of 58 shot attempts (50 percent), while GSW was held to 19 of 51 (37.3 percent).
Price and Wooten led all scorers with 14 points apiece. Price dished out a game-high six assists.
Georgia State was led by Devin Mitchell with 13 points off the bench. None of the Panthers starters played more than 23 minutes. Willie Clayton posted a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Malik Benlevi hit 4 of 5 shots and all four of his free throw attempts to finish with 12 points.
The Hurricanes return to action on Monday with a 7:30 p.m. non-conference game at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga.