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45
Final 12Score
Arkansas State242145
Georgia State324072
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72


Arkansas State (19-12) vs. Georgia State (24-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 15, 3 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: New Orleans Lakefront Arena (8,933) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: Sun Belt Network. Home Record: Arkansas State 11-4, Georgia State 13-0. Away Record: Arkansas State 7-8, Georgia State 10-6. Neutral Record: Arkansas State 1-0, Georgia State 1-1. Conference Record: Arkansas State 10-8, Georgia State 17-1. Series Record: Georgia State leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: The first Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinal contest will get underway at 3 p.m. and will feature the fourth-seeded Arkansas State Red Wolves taking on the top-seeded Georgia State Panthers at New Orleans Lakefront Arena.

The winner of this showdown will earn the first spot in the league's title game on Sunday against either Louisiana or Western Kentucky.

Arkansas State received a first-round bye as the fourth seed in the Sun Belt Conference at season's end. The Red Wolves needed everything they had to outlast Arkansas-Little Rock, 116-114, in four overtimes Friday night.

Georgia State nearly ran the table in the Sun Belt Conference this season, owning a 17-1 league record when the regular-season schedule came to a close. The Panthers won 21 of their last 22 games on the year, including a season- ending defeat of the second-seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 73-55, last Saturday.

Georgia State leads the brief all-time series between the two programs, 3-1. The two teams met twice during the regular season, with the Panthers winning the pair of games against the Red Wolves.

It was an absolute marathon of a game Friday night between Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock, which needed four overtimes to decide a winner. After almost 60 minutes of play, the game was ultimately decided by a layup with just over five seconds left to play. Ed Townsel led all scorers in the game with 32 points, while Brandon Reed contributed 23 points, Kirk Van Slyke tallied 24, Melvin Johnson III had 19, and Kendrick Washington chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson III entered Friday's game as the leading scorer, netting an average of 15.2 ppg. Van Slyke was second in scoring before Friday's quarterfinals matchup with 14.9 ppg, and Washington added 10 ppg with a team-high 6.3 rpg. He surpassed both of those totals against UALR. Arkansas State shot 44.3 percent from the floor in a game and a half worth of playing time Friday.

With the top seed in the conference, the Panthers earned a double-bye right on through to the semifinal round. Georgia State put some emphasis on the tail end of its season with the victory over WKU by simply crushing the Hilltoppers as the teams entered the postseason. Georgia State held Western Kentucky to just 37 percent shooting in the first half, including a dismal 1-of-10 shooting from 3-point distance, to gain a 34-23 lead over WKU at the intermission. That lead got even bigger over the course of the second period, as the Panthers held the Hilltoppers to 33.3 percent shooting in the frame. On a team full of scoring threats, it was Ryan Harrow's turn to go off. Harrow netted a team-best 20 points in the win, while Devonta White (19 points) and R.J. Hunter (12 points) each chipped in a double-digit scoring total. Hunter tops the Panthers with 18.5 ppg entering the tournament, followed by Harrow's 17.2 ppg and Manny Atkins' 14.6 ppg average. Atkins leads the team with a 6.1 rpg mark, and White tops the squad with 137 assists on the year.

Arkansas State has to be worn down from Friday's seemingly never-ending contest. Georgia State is a high-powered offensive team that thrived in conference play this season, especially against the Red Wolves. The Panthers should be able to put the ball on the floor and run their way around the tired out Red Wolves Saturday.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 78, Arkansas State 72

03/15 10:30:45 ET

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Scoreboard
NBA
Final
CLE 110
GSW 99
2nd
PHO 35
OKC 23
 
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
Final
CITA 74
ETST 73
 
Final
GWEBB 91
CSOU 81
 
Final
VMI 82
CHAT 86
 
Final
BRY 77
CCST 69
 
Final
PBY 80
CCAR 69
 
Final
DREX 44
DEL 58
 
Final
UNCA 71
HIGH 75
 
Final
TEMPL 66
HOU 54
Final
EKENT 63
JVST 57
 
Final
WRST 58
UWMIL 61
 
Final
MSU 90
MINN 96
Final
RFLSH 63
MNTER 60
 
Final
OSU 81
NEB 57
Final
MAST 67
NEOM 73
 
Final
ELON 72
NE 65
 
Final
LIB 80
RAD 69
 
Final
FD 85
SHU 90
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 67
 
Final
LIU 69
Terriers 74
 
Final
TENN 65
VANDY 73
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 59
 
Final
FUR 53
WCU 49
 
Final
IUPUI 71
WILL 66
 
Final
CAMP 65
WINT 50
 
Final
MERC 72
WOFF 76
 
Final
APP 58
GSOUT 77
 
Final
UNT 81
CHAR 65
Final
MURST 65
EILL 57
 
Final
MARS 87
FIU 69
Final
WKENT 71
FATL 68
Final
ILLCH 67
UWGB 72
 
Final
ORU 74
NDST 58
 
Final
NDAK 75
NARZ 85
 
Final
RICE 54
ODU 63
Final
MON 60
RIDE 63
 
Final
PEAY 64
SIUE 61
 
Final
LATU 77
UTEP 60
Final
SMISS 70
TXSA 66
Final
TENST 52
TENNM 69
 
Final
CHIST 74
GRCN 70
 
Final
UMKC 69
WLVRN 50
 
Final
SALA 57
LAMON 75
 
Final
ARKST 81
TXARL 80
 
Final
ARKLR 92
UGST 83
 
Final
TXST 67
TROY 61
 
Final
COL 54
ARZ 82
 
Final
PURD 92
RUTG 85
 
Final
MEM 57
SMU 66
 
Final
NCOL 77
SUTAH 67
 
Final
MORE 86
TENT 73
 
Final
EWASH 92
MNTST 68
 
2nd
PORT 48
BYU 52
 
2nd
CSNO 57
CSFU 55
 
2nd
IDAHO 35
MONT 39
 
2nd
SCU 38
PAC 45
 
2nd
UCSB 59
UCD 53
 
2nd
CPSL 43
UCI 57
 
Half
UTAH 41
ARST 9
 
1st
STAN 12
ORST 13
 
1st
GONZ 9
SDU 12
 
1st
USF 15
GAELS 28
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
LBSU
 
Final
NYR 4
ARI 3
Final
CLB 2
MON 5
Final
BUF 6
VAN 3
Final
FLA 0
CHI 3
Final
TOR 3
PHI 2
Final
WIN 1
STL 2
Final
NAS 2
MIN 4
 
1st Intermission
SJS 1
DET 0
 
2nd
LOS 0
OTT 0