Sun Belt Tournament Semifinal
(2W) Louisiana (17-8, 10-7) VS. (1E) Georgia State (15-5, 8-4)
- Time: 4:30PM PST | 6:30PM CST | 7:30PM EST
- Location: Pensacola Bay Center, Pensacola, FL
- TV: ESPN+
The Panthers and Ragin’ Cajuns did not meet in the regular season, and it’s a matchup of the last two teams in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense as well as they both allow 72. 5 points per game.
Louisiana has won four out of it’s last five with yesterday’s 79-68 win over South Alabama. Georgia State is on a roll after winning seven straight games as the Panthers took a hard-fought 71-68 win over Arkansas State to advance to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament
The Ragin’ Cajuns have taken two of the last three in the series while the Panthers have won seven off the last nine and have a 12-7 record.
Vs. The Spread
- The OVER has been solid in 10 of the last 15 Cajuns’ games
- Louisiana is 3-6 ATS in it’s last 9 games
- The Cajuns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when the underdog
- The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of GSU’s last 7 games
- The OVER has been the play in 9 of the last 11 games between the Cajuns and the Panthers
Last Time Out
Louisiana defeated South Alabama, 79-68, as Theo Akwuba scored 19 points and had 14 boards to advance the Cajuns into the Sun Belt semifinals on Saturday. Mylik Wilson and Dou Gueye had 16 points as Louisiana held South Alabama to 37.5 percent from the field.
Justin Roberts led five Panthers in double figures as Georgia State got past Arkansas State, 71-68, in another Sun Belt quarterfinal. Corey Allen made a layup with 3:11 to go and then the Panthers hit five late free throws to seal the win.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Louisiana||+5 (-112)||+180||O 152 (+105)|
|Georgia State||-5 (-108)||-210||U 152 (-125)|
The Cajuns had plenty of firepower on offense as they boast four players who average in double figures, led by 17.0 points per game by Cedric Russell. This team averaged 74.1 points and it seemed to feed offensively off Russell’s play, but yesterday different players stepped up as Russel was only 1-of-8 from the field and scored five points in 37 minutes. Russell proliferates an excellent inside-outside game as he has made a team-high 72 threes and gets to the line off the dribble.
Key Cajuns Stat:
Mylik Wilson (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Theo Akwuba (11.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg) have had solid seasons and are part of an attack that feeds into different dynamics which help the Cajuns offensively. Akwuba has 96 offensive boards while Wilson is solid off the dribble.
How well can Louisiana handle the basketball and be clean offensively is going to go far in allowing them to advance to the SBC championship game. This team averages 15 turnover per game and is last in the SBC in turnover margin at (-2.7) per game. Georgia State leads the league with a (+3.1).
Advantage, Georgia State
The Panthers have the weaponry to exploit a Louisiana defense that has struggled defensively over various parts of the season as well as the aforementioned ball handling issues. Corey Allen checks all the boxes and is as consistently and effective as any player in the Sun Belt (15.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg) in shooting 41 percent from three and averaging 1.7 turnovers in 31.5 minutes. As Georgia State forces 14.9 turnovers per game watch Justin Roberts and Kane Williams as they lead GSU with 31 and 30 steals.
Key Panthers Stat:
The Panthers are an exciting offensive team as they lead the league in averaging 81.1 points and shoot 47.4 percent from the floor. Roberts (13.6 ppg, 4l8 apg) and Williams (12.7 ppg, 3.4 apg) supplement Allen inside of a stealthy backcourt with many dynamics. Eliel Nsoseme is a solid big man for coach Rob Lanier as he averages 9.9 boards per game and will be a key in negating Akwuba.
Jalen Thomas’s stats have bourgeoned in his last five games during the regular season as he averaged 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds over those five. He was efficient yesterday with 10 points and five boards and he and Nsoseme will cause trouble inside for the Cajuns with their consistency and efficiency.
Winner: Georgia State (-5) 81, Louisiana 73