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Georgia State Clinches Tie For Sun Belt Title

Here’s a recap from Thursday night’s games in the Sun Belt Conference:

GEORGIA STATE 77, UT ARLINGTON 49–The Panthers clinched at least a tie for the Sun Belt Conference championship last night, running away from UT Arlington in the second half 77-49 in the College Park Center.

The Panthers (21-7,. 14-1 Sun Belt) trailed 34-29 at halftime but outscored the Mavericks (12-15, 7-8) 48-15 in the second half.

Manny Atkins, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the week, outscored the entire UTA team in the second half, scoring 17 of his career high 27 points after the break.

WESTERN KENTUCKY 51, TEXAS STATE 50–George Fant hit what proved to be the winning basket with :47 left to lead WKU (19-9, 11-4) to a 51-50 win over Texas State in San Marcos.

The Bobcats opened the second half on am 11-2 run to lead 36-24 before the Hilltoppers made their comeback.  After Fant’s basket, Texas State (8-20, 4-11) got within one on a pair of free throws by Joel Wright and had a chance to win it, but Naiel Smith missed a layup as time expired.

Fant’s 14 points led WKU.  Wright had 15 to lead Texas State.

UALR 62, TROY 55–UALR snapped a five game losing streak with their 62-55 win at Trojan Arena in Troy, AL.

UALR (13-15, 8-8) went on a 15-4 run to break a 32-32 tie and withstood a Troy rally to get the win, which clinched a berth in the Sun Belt Basketball Tournament in New Orleans.

Ben Dillard scored 18 points, including an 8-8 effort from the free throw line to spark UALR.  Troy (9-18, 4-11) was led by Tevin Calhoun with 16 points.

The Trojans of UALR are still playing without leading scorer Will Neighbour.  The victory was the 100th for Coach Steve Shields in Sun Belt play, making him only the fifth coach to reach that milestone.

UL MONROE 71, SOUTH ALABAMA 54–ULM took another step toward securing a berth in the upcoming Sun Belt tournament by taking a home win over South Alabama, 71-54 at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

The Warhawks (9-14, 6-9) got a season best 19 points from senior Jayon James to lead ULM to the win.  James hit 8-12 shots from the floor in the win.

South Alabama (9-19. 3-12) trailed by just two at halftime before the Warhawks pulled away.  Augstine Rubit led the Jags with 14 points.

Conference standings as of Feb. 28

Georgia State        14-1

WKU                        11-4

Arkansas St.             9-5

Louisiana                  9-6

UALR                        8-8

UT Arlington             7-8

UL Monroe               6-9

Troy                          4-11

Texas State             4-11

South Alabama      3-12

(information from contributed to this report


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