UNC-Wilmington (7-10) at Georgia State (9-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: GSU Sports Arena (4,500) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: UNCW 7-1, GSU 6-5. Away Record: UNCW 0-9, GSU 3-6. Neutral Record: UNCW 0-0, GSU 0-0. Conference Record: UNCW 2-3, GSU 4-3. Series Record: Georgia State leads, 9-8.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia State Panthers will try to continue their season-long winning streak on Wednesday night, as they host the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks in Colonial Athletic Association action at the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta.
UNCW recently closed out a two-game homestand with wins over George Mason (82-74) and Old Dominion (65-60) to improve to 2-3 in the CAA and 7-10 overall. The Seahawks have not fared well on the road however, losing all nine of their matchups outside of Wilmington.
The Panthers have caught fire in recent weeks with three straight wins over William & Mary (74-58), Old Dominion (69-54) and most recently at Towson on Monday night (71-69). The run for Georgia State has come on the heels of seven losses in eight contests from mid-December to early-January, and it is now 4-3 in league play and inching closer to .500 overall (9-11).
Georgia State has won four consecutive games over UNCW to take a 9-8 advantage in the all-time series.
UNCW trailed a two-win ODU squad late in the second half on its home floor, but it was able to pull away thanks to an 8-2 run in the final minutes. It put together a modest night from the field, shooting 22-of-51 (.431), but it was able to hang on for the victory by taking decent care of the basketball (11 turnovers) and shooting 16-of-23 from the foul line. Keith Rendleman recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Chris Dixon also scored 14 points and Craig Ponder finished with 13. Rendleman is one of the CAA's most imposing forwards, racking up 15.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg and 1.8 spg, all while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. Ponder is the Seahawks' next-best scoring option at 9.1 ppg, and Cedrick Williams (6.1 ppg) is another force in the frontcourt with 7.1 rpg and 1.8 bpg. As a team, UNCW only shoots 40.7 percent from the field for 61.8 ppg, and a minus-3.6 turnover margin is a big reason for its poor scoring defense (68.8 ppg).
In a game that featured 14 ties and nine lead changes, Georgia State used a late 8-0 run to catapult itself to a road win over Towson on Monday. The triumph would not have been possible without a career-night from R.J. Hunter, who shot 9-of-19 from the field (4-of-9 from 3-point range) and made all five of his free throws en route to 27 points. Devonta White stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals, while Rashaad Richardson added 11 points. The Panthers have played remarkably tight with their opponents, as their field goal percentage (.426) and scoring offense (65.4 ppg) are nearly identical to what they allow (.427, 65.6 ppg). They are paced by a trio of talented scorers in Hunter, White and Manny Atkins. Hunter pours in 16.2 ppg thanks to 41 3-pointers and an .802 free throw percentage. White (14.1 ppg) dishes out 3.6 apg, and Atkins (13.6 ppg) hauls in a team- high 6.2 rpg. The trio is also active in the opposing team's passing lanes, coming up with a combined 90 steals (4.5 spg).
UNCW has turned things around of late, but it has yet to prove itself on the road. With Georgia State playing its best basketball of the season, it should have no problem giving fans something to smile about in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia State 68, UNC-Wilmington 59
01/23 10:39:39 ET