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Panthers Open Final Road Trip Thursday at James Madison

by Staff

GEORGIA STATE (11-13, 5-7) at JAMES MADISON (22-3, 9-3)

Thursday, Feb. 15 | 8 p.m. | Harrisonburg, Va.

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THE TIPOFF: Georgia State takes a two-game winning streak on its final road trip of the season, beginning Thursday at James Madison (8 p.m. at Atlantic Union Bank Center). The Panthers then play their last road game Saturday at Old Dominion before finishing the regular season with four straight home games.

> The Panthers are playing their fourth-straight game against a top-four team in the Sun Belt standings.

> Backed by a strong defensive effort, Toneari Lane scored 17 points and Lucas Taylor added 15 as Georgia State defeated Miami 73-53 in Saturday’s Sun Belt-MAC Challenge.

> The 53 points and 31 percent shooting from the field allowed by Georgia State against Miami are seasons lows against the Panthers by a Division I opponent.

> Playing their fifth road game in seven contests, the Panthers scored a 78-69 win last Wednesday at Louisiana, then the third-place team in the Sun Belt. Toneari Lane scored 16 points and Leslie Nkeruewem added a season-high 15 points. Georgia State trailed by 11 with 16:31 to play before Lane capped a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer with 7:51 left to give the Panthers the lead for good.

> Sophomore post player Edward Nnamoko had perhaps the best two games of his career last week. He contributed nine points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench at Louisiana and then followed with four points and nine rebounds vs. Miami.

> Senior post Leslie Nkereuwem also had a strong week, averaging 14.5 points on 75 percent (12-16) shooting. He scored a season-high 15 points at Louisiana and then almost matched that with 14 vs. Miami.

> Dwon Odom scored a career-high 30 points Jan. 27 at Coastal Carolina for the first 30-point game by a Panthers since 2019. That followed a 21-point effort at Marshall.

> Odom, the Preseason All-Sun Belt guard and GSU’s top returning scorer, is averaging 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds (second on team) and 4.4 assists per game. He is third in the Sun Belt in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio at +2.6. The 6-2 guard also leads the team with 15 blocked shots.

> Odom is the only Sun Belt player who is averaging at least four assists AND five rebounds per game. He has three double-figure rebounding games, and he approached a triple-double vs. Old Dominion with 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists

> Lucas Taylor is the Panthers’ leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, which ranks ninth in the Sun Belt. Taylor scored a career-high 28 points against Georgia Southern. In his second game in a GSU uniform, the Wake Forest transfer scored 27 points in the 77-70 win at Western Michigan, and he added 22 points in the win at South Alabama and 22 vs. Troy.

> Toneari Lane leads the Sun Belt in 3-point percentage (.330) while ranking second with 2.8 3-pointers per game. 

> Jay’Den Turner leads the Panthers and ranks No. 4 in the Sun Belt with 8.7 rebounds per game, along with 10.0 points. He is averaging 9.9 rebounds in Sun Belt games. 

> Turner has grabbed double-figure rebounds seven times in conference games. He had six straight double-figure efforts to open Sun Belt play, a streak that is the longest by a Panther since 1990.

> Four of the Panthers’ top five scorers are transfers: Lucas Taylor (14.5), Toneari Lane (13.2), Jay’Den Turner (10.0) and Leslie Nkereuwem (8.3). Dwon Odom is third on the team at 12.1 ppg.

> After averaging 5.5 points for the first 16 games of the season, senior Brenden Tucker has improved to 8.9 ppg over the last eight contests. He scored in double figures in GSU’s four straight road games, including a season-high 19 points at Georgia Southern. He added 12 points at App State and 11 at Marshall and 11 at Coastal Carolina.

> Georgia State leads the Sun Belt in free throw percentage at .751. Dwon Odom is second in the Sun Belt at .863. Lucas Taylor is second on the team at .811.

    

SERIES NOTES: Georgia State and James Madison are playing the first of two games in 14 days.

> Georgia State leads the series 9-7, and the Panthers have won four of the last six meetings and seven of the last 10.

> JMU won both games last season, 63-47 in Atlanta and 90-69 in Harrisonburg.

> Georgia State has a 5-4 record at James Madison and has won two of the last three games on the Dukes’ home court.

> The two schools were previously conference foes in the Colonial Athletic Association from 2005-06 through 2012-13.

 

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