Basketball Teams Face Three More Foes Before Conference Tournaments

Thomas Jilk

Men’s Basketball

After a ten-point loss against conference-leading UT Arlington (21-6, 11-3) on Monday, GS sits tied for third in the Sun Belt with Georgia State. The Eagles will play their final three games of the season on the road.

Arkansas State

First, the Eagles travel to Jonesboro, Ark. to take on Arkansas State at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Red Wolves are currently second in the conference (19-8, 10-4) and only a half-game ahead of GS. An Eagle win could pull them ahead of Arkansas State in the conference standings going into the final two games of the regular season.

However, the Red Wolves are potent offensively, and they have three players shooting over 40 percent from three-point range. That includes senior guard Devin Carter, who has made 85 threes this season – the most in the Sun Belt. Carter is the fourth leading scorer in the Sun Belt.

Arkansas-Little Rock

On Monday, the Eagles travel to a different part of Arkansas to face Little Rock. The Trojans are 4-10 in league play and are 10th out of 12 teams in the Sun Belt. The Trojans are led by senior guard Marcus Johnson Jr. Johnson scores nearly 14 points per game, and he dishes out three assists and grabs three rebounds per contest.

Georgia State

On March 4, the rivalry between Georgia State and Georgia Southern will continue in Atlanta. The two teams are currently tied for third at 10-5 in the Sun Belt, and the fact that it’s the last game for each team before the conference tournament will undoubtedly add some drama to the situation.

Senior forward Jeremy Hollowell leads the panthers at about 16 points and six rebounds per game. The Panthers lead the conference in blocked shots and will try to make shots for GS leading scorers, sophomore guards Ike Smith and Tookie Brown, – difficult.

Women’s Basketball

The Eagles will play the same three teams as the men over their last three but in a different order. They will first go to Little Rock on Thursday and then head to Jonesboro to take on Arkansas State on Saturday. GS enters this week in sixth in the conference with a conference record of 8-7 and an overall record of 12-14.

Arkansas-Little Rock

Unlike the men’s team, the Little Rock women’s team is a Sun Belt juggernaut this season, sitting alone atop the conference standings with a 13-1 Sun Belt record. Senior guard Sharde’ Collins leads the Trojans with over 17 points per game. Little Rock only allows 55 points per game out of their opponents, the lowest average in the conference.

Arkansas State

On the other hand, Arkansas State is second-to-last in the conference. They do not have a scorer in the top 15 in the conference, while GS has two of the top 10 in seniors Angel McGowan (16 points per game) and Patrice Butler (15 points per game). The red Wolves rank near the bottom of the conference in virtually every team statistical category, save blocked shots and three-point defense.

Georgia State

Finally, the Eagles will take on Georgia State at noon on March 4. Georgia State is one game behind the Eagles in the conference standings. Freshman guard Jada Lewis leads the panthers with 12.8 ppg, and junior guard Makeba Ponder scores just under 11 per game.

The women’s Sun Belt basketball tournament begins on March 7 at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, while the men’s tournament begins on March 8.