Xavier too much for Georgia State


The miracle season for Georgia State ends in the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament after a tough 75-67 loss to Xavier.  The last remaining team from the state of Georgia fought hard but ultimately could not over the Musketeers.  Coach Ron Hunter’s team finishes the 2015 campaign with a 25-10 record.

The Panthers got off to a slow start and were down by as many as 11 points early in the game.  Georgia State was able to recover to only be down 32-28 at the intermission.  GSU took advantage of some timely 3-point shooting by R.J. Hunter, who finished with eight points at the half.

More from GSU Panthers

The Panthers also got a shot in the arm off the bench from guard Ryan Harrow, who also had two big 3-pointers to keep the game close.  Harrow, who had been injured and did not play in the second-round contest, was a welcome addition back to the lineup.

Xavier was able to take advantage of its size down low was able to out rebound the Panthers 17-5.  Georgia State was able to counteract that by putting pressure on the Musketeers and forcing them to 9 first half turnovers.

The Musketeers never lost control of the game in the second half.  Although Georgia State never was out of the ball game they never could gain the advantage over Xavier.  The Musketeers appeared to hit every shot that mattered down the stretch as they were an exceptional 67 percent shooting from the field.  That allowed them to overcome 14 turnovers for the game.

Georgia State did not a bad job putting the ball in the basket themselves, by shooting 56 percent, but that doesn’t help much when you are not getting the stops.

Xavier also found a way to get to the free throw line a whopping 25 times during the game and nailing 22 of them was a clear advantage in the game.  Georgia State in comparison only had 13 attempts from the charity stripe.  In a game where there wasn’t a lot of misses to be had Xavier controlled the glass with a 23-12 advantage.

The Panthers also did not see much of their second-leading scorer, Harrow, in the second half, whom they could have used to counter punch Xavier’s scoring.

Georgia State was led in scoring by Hunter, who had 20 points in what in what could possibly his last game playing college basketball.  The Panthers also got 10 points from forward Markus Crider, who fouled out in the second half.

Xavier had three players score in double figures and were led by reserve forward Jalen Reynolds, who had a career-high 21 points.

The Panthers completed a very successful season as the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament champs and provided one of the most memorable victories of the NCAA tournament. They took us on an emotional ride and we got to see some wonderful moments between a father and son. Stay tuned to ATL All Day for more Panthers basketball news throughout the offseason.

More from ATL All Day