Eagles travel to Atlanta to face GSU on Saturday

Thomas Jilk

The Georgia Southern basketball teams on Saturday will each play their final regular season game before the Sun Belt tournament as they travel to the state’s capital to face Georgia State.


The Eagles are coming off a tough Monday loss to Little Rock in which Little Rock senior guard Kemy Osse hit a three-pointer with 8.1 seconds left in the game to give his team a 56-54 win. GS Junior guard Jake Allsmiller scored a season-high 19 points in the game.

The loss moved the Eagles back into a tie with Georgia State – at 11-5 in conference play – for third place in the Sun Belt standings. If the fiery rivalry between Southern and State is not motivation enough for the two teams, the no. 3 seed in the conference tournament will also be on the line Saturday at the Georgia State Sports Arena. Georgia Southern won the teams’ first meeting this season 88-65 on New Year’s Eve.

Georgia State leads the Sun Belt in field goal percentage at 47.4 percent. They are also first in the conference in steals and blocks. Senior forward Jeremy Hollowell leads the Panthers in scoring with 15.4 points per game. He is also second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game. Freshman guard D’Marcus Simonds scores 12.8 points per game for the Panthers, giving them another consistent scoring threat.

The men’s game is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.


The Eagles have played two vastly different games over their last two. They lost to conference-leading Little Rock 57-41 last Thursday, then traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas and defeated Arkansas State 84-76.

Senior guard Angel McGowan scored 21 points (over half of the team’s total) against Little Rock and 20 against Arkansas State. Senior forward Patrice Butler – who scored 28 points against ASU – has spearheaded the Eagles’ attack alongside McGowan all season, and they seek to avenge a 58-54 loss to Georgia State earlier in the campaign.

McGowan and Butler have not only been leaders this season, but over the course of their entire college careers at Georgia Southern.

“I know that my career is coming to an end, so I’ve just got to leave it all out there and play every game like it’s my last,” McGowan said.

When asked to boil it down to one word, McGowan described her career at Georgia Southern as “blessed.”

Georgia State’s women’s team comes in two spots behind Georgia Southern at eighth in the conference. Head Coach Kip Drown feels the Panthers are talented and athletic.

“They guard well, they change a lot of defenses,” Drown said. “They do some things that we really haven’t seen a lot of, particularly with their different zones.”

Georgia State freshman guard Jada Lewis leads her team in scoring with 11.4 points per game. The panthers have five players averaging at least eight points per game.

McGowan, Butler and the Eagles will face the Panthers at noon on Saturday in Atlanta.

Conference Tournament

The Sun Belt Conference Championship will begin next week on Wednesday, March 8 for the men and Tuesday, March 7 for the women.