The Georgia State Panthers defeated the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 65-51 Thursday night at the GSU Sports Arena. Freshman Jeff Thomas led three Panthers in double-figures with 14 points off the bench as star guard Kevin Ware was plagued with early foul trouble. Forward Jeremy Hollowell and guard Isaiah Williams each added 10 points.
“I had to step up because we didn’t have that many shooters and scorers,” said Thomas in his post-game press conference.
In the first half, the Panthers built upon their defensive intensity they’ve displayed during their five game home-stand. They held the Warhawks to 7/22 shooting from the field and 0/6 from three point range. Coming into the game, Georgia State has held opponents to 60.6 points per game, ranked ninth in the NCAA.
“Our kids are playing with swagger defensively right now,” said Georgia State Head Coach Ron Hunter. “We are top ten in the country on defense … They’ve bought in to who and what we are. This is a good basketball team we’ve beat tonight. With our top two offensive scorers not having great nights, our freshmen are getting better and better.”
Junior guard Prince Cooper led the Warhawks with 12 points off the bench. Also, Marcus Washington chipped in with an additional 10 points in 19 minutes.
Thursday’s game was the annual “Barefoot for Bare Feet” game as coach Hunter coached the game barefoot to raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet. Hunter improved to 9-0 all time when coaching barefoot, including a 5-0 record as the head coach of Georgia State.
“We’re really excited about the shoes we’ve raised this year,” Hunter said. “I will take this team overseas this summer. It means a lot to me. It’s a special day for me. It’s aways hard to coach in this game because I know many children that will receive shoes and I thank my team for lifting me up in this regard.”