Eagles fall to home court advantage in Atlanta

McClain Baxley

The game was everything one would hope it would be. A back and forth game that had visible and even audible passion from both sides.

Ultimately, junior point guard Tookie Brown’s absence proved fatal as the Eagles would lose in Atlanta for the eighth consecutive time.

{{tncms-inline account=”George-Anne Sports” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Starting point guard Tookie Brown not dressed for warmups <a href="https://t.co/BYbcap7YWh">pic.twitter.com/BYbcap7YWh</a></p>— George-Anne Sports (@GeorgeAnneSport) <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeAnneSport/status/954789765139886080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/GeorgeAnneSport/status/954789765139886080″ type=”twitter”}}

The first half was a good sign for the Eagles with junior forward Montae Glenn dominating the boards and senior guards Mike Hughes and Jake Allsmiller knocking down threes.

With a lead at halftime, there was a certain nervousness from the GSU fans throughout the Arena.

However, a different team came out of the locker room as the Panthers drained a three pointer and the Eagles missed three consecutive shots in the same possession before tying the game at 40 with a redshirt freshman guard Quan Jackson nifty layup.

The next five minutes provided a strong offensive neck and neck battle. Momentum was heavily shifted to GSU’s favor with Jeff Thomas knocking down back-to-back three pointers, almost uncontested.

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The 83-66 loss was also largely accredited to the GSU fans.

The Georgia State Sports Arena was reportedly sold out and it made a huge difference, especially in the second half.

With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Jordan Tyson went up for a dunk. When he slammed the ball down, the crowd level went up and State’s lead was extended to 58-51.

Former Sun Belt freshman of the year and scoring leader D’Marcus Simonds also made it a strong point to rile the crowd up after every dunk, three pointer or timeout.

It was without a doubt the most hostile and loudest environment the Eagles have played in or will play in all season.

“Their crowd gave them the extra boost they needed,” Byington said. “Hopefully our fans get behind (us) in the same way.”

The Eagles will return to Hanner Fieldhouse this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for a clash with the Texas State Bobcats.