Eagle head coach Shantay Legans knew the Panthers were going to be a handful for his road-weary team, and a valiant defensive effort in the first half and game-ending 11-1 run by EWU wasn't enough.
After holding the Panthers in check for much of the first half, Georgia State went on runs of 17-4 in the first half and 9-0 to open the second half and went on to defeat the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team 68-50 Monday (Nov. 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the fourth-annual MGM Resorts Main Event.
"Defensively I thought we did a great job in the first half of switching up our defenses," said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans. "But after a while and you don't score, guys start hanging their heads. They had 31 points in the first half and that team can score a lot of points. I liked our defensive effort in the first half."
Now 2-3 on the season, the Eagles will play 2-2 Eastern Kentucky in the consolation game on Wednesday (Nov. 22) at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Prairie View defeated Eastern Kentucky 80-70 in Monday's other first-round game of the "middleweight" bracket.
Redshirt freshman Jacob Davison scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Eagles, who began their road trip on Nov. 11. He scored 18 of his points in the second half as EWU ended the game with an 11-1 run that was too little too late.
The Eagles had a season-high 21 turnovers and had just 14 points scored by their starters. Devin Mitchell scored 23 points for Georgia State and NBA prospect D'Marcus Simonds had 19 points and a pair of assists for the Panthers, now 3-1.
"They are a very good team and are well-coached," said Legans. "Coach Ron Hunter did a good job against us and I learned a few things today. He had his team ready and they were fired up. We went up against their zone and it was tough to score at times. They did a really good job of mixing up what they were doing."
Eastern is currently in a three-game stretch in which they are playing teams they've never played before – Georgia State, Prairie View or Eastern Kentucky, and Utah.
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