Georgia Southern looks to get revenge on Georgia State

Marqus Williams

The Georgia Southern Eagles went 1-1 to start their four game home stand last weekend. They beat Arkansas State on Thursday 90-59 but fell to the Arkansas Little-Rock Trojans 75-61 on Saturday. Those games put the Eagles in fifth place in the Sun Belt, one game behind Texas-Arlington for a first round bye in the conference tournament.

This week could be labeled “rivalry week” for the Eagles as Georgia State and Appalachian State come to Hanner on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Eagles will face off against Georgia State this Tuesday in a battle for bragging rights as well as fifth place in the conference. The Eagles are 8-8 and the Panthers are 7-9 in the conference.

Both teams have been battling since the first ever Sun Belt matchup of these teams, which the Eagles won 58-54 at Hanner Fieldhouse in a sold out arena. The Panthers have owned the rivalry of late, taking three of the last four meetings.

The Eagles lost in overtime earlier in the season 69-66 in Atlanta, but both teams have been trending opposite directions as of late. The Eagles have won five of their last seven games and the Panthers have lost four of their last six.

Key players to look out for in this game will be Tookie Brown, Ike Smith and Devonte Boykins. Brown leads the Eagles in scoring with 18 points per game and will have to be a leader on the court. Smith has been a player that shows high potential this season and needs to play lights out and produce the way he’s shown he can. Boykins hasn’t had his name mentioned much all season but due to the injury to Mike Hughes, his number will be called upon to deliver some quality, consistent basketball to help the Eagles prevail over the Panthers.

For Georgia State, key players to watch are Jeremy Hollowell and Kevin Ware. Hollowell is the Panthers leading scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game. Ware averages 12.2 points per game and has been a consistent player for the Panthers since he transferred from the University of Louisville.

Ga State is one of GSU’s most hated rivals as they battle it out for the title of the “Real GSU.” It might not be one of college’s biggest rivalries, but if the schools continue to get better in the coming years as they have done recently, it won’t go unnoticed much longer.

The game will be played at Hanner Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. Their next game will also be at Hanner against App State Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

All-Time series record: Georgia Southern leads 33-17

First meeting: 1972

First Sun Belt matchup: Feb. 2, 2015. Eagles won 58-54

Current streak: Georgia State won last three contests.

Latest matchup: Georgia State won 69-66 in overtime