Panthers Gut Out win in Capitol Classic

ATLANTA — Dwon Odom scored 20 points and Jamaine Mann scored 12 as Georgia State scored eight of the last 10 points to earn a 57-53 win over Texas A&M Commerce in their second game of the Legacy-presented Capitol Classic at the GSU Convocation Center .

Odom, who shot 6 of 12 from the field, fell a point short of his career high of 21 sets against Mercer on Nov. 15 while also posting a team-high with six rebounds and four assists. Mann played 27 minutes off the bench and scored 10 of his 12 second-half points, including eight of the Panthers’ last 16 in a strong performance he played through an injury sustained against Eastern Kentucky.

Kalik Brooks added eight points to set a career high yesterday against Eastern Kentucky. Edward Nnamoko grabbed six rebounds, equal to Odom’s total, and Jalen Bouknight played six minutes in his Panthers debut.

Georgia State (3-2) shot 20 of 48 from the field and made 13 of 14 free throws while overtaking Texas A&M Commerce 30-28 despite playing without two starters through injury.

“First of all, I want to give a lot of credit to Texas A&M Commerce. I think this is a well-trained team and they have given us many challenges. But I can’t say enough about the group that I have in our locker room,” said GSU head coach Jonas Hayes. “The amount of fighting, the amount of courage that we show, I think that’s the foundation of championship basketball. It may not always look good, but I think the mentality that we’ve had through all the immense adversity we’ve had, that we’ve been able to find enough within ourselves to keep pushing forward, that’s tremendous for this group in the future.”

GSU was 51:48 behind with 2:40 remaining when Odom triggered the Panthers rally with a turnaround jumper to pull the Panthers within one. He then got the ball back after a save but missed the go-ahead jumper, leading to a mad scramble from both teams for the free ball. Ja’Heim Hudson came out of the pile with the ball and threw it to Mann, who put it in to set the Panthers up for good. The Panthers then took five of their last six free throws to end the game and secure the win.

The Panthers led 38-27 with 14:03 to go as both teams traded points runs and set the stage for the thrilling ending. Texas A&M-Commerce went on a 15-3 run to take a one-point lead with 8:50 to go. GSU then took back the lead with a 7-0 run before the Lions started a 9-0 run to lead 51-48 in the final minutes.

Georgia State went 47.8 percent in the first half and used an 11-0 run to take a 22-11 lead with 7-54 minutes left. They led 30-19 with 2:45 left before the Lions managed the last four points to go 30-23 at halftime.

The Panthers will return to action tomorrow at the conclusion of the Capitol Classic, taking on UNC Asheville at 3:30 p.m