CONWAY, S.C. –DeVante’ Jones again led Coastal in scoring with 22 points, but it wasn’t enough as Corey Allen hit for 22 points as well to lead Georgia State to a 70-62 win over the Chanticleers Saturday afternoon at the HTC Center. It was a reversal of outcomes from Friday night and it left Coastal at 7-2 on the season, with its first loss at home and in the Sun Belt Conference. Georgia State improved to have the same records; 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Jones, who led his team in scoring for the seventh time in nine games, was one of two in double figures for the Chanticleers, with the other being fellow junior guard Deanthony Tipler, who had 10 points. Allen, a senior guard who tied a season-high for Georgia State, was supported by guard Kane Williams, who had 19 points. The Panthers’ guard duo was the reason for the change in fortunes, as the Chanticleers held them to a combined 14 points in their 81-69-win Friday.
Georgia State broke open the contest to start the second half and never trailed at any point on the afternoon. Coastal’s Ebrima Dibba missed a foul line jumper that would have given his team a lead after the teams were knotted at 34-34 at halftime, and from there the Panthers were off and running again. Allen had six points in the Panthers’ 16-0 run to start the final stanza as they built their largest lead of the game, at 50-34. At the same time, Coastal went five minutes without scoring and hit only one of its first 11 shots to start the second half.
“The first five minutes of each half decided this game,” said Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis. “We didn’t play our defense the way we wanted to, and we turned the ball over too much. But Allen was the key factor for them. He really had a great game. And their guards outplayed our guards today. Last night, our guards won that battle.”
Jones tried to bring Coastal back in the late-going, and when he drove for a lay-in he cut the margin to nine, at 68-59, but there was only a minute left to play. Sophomore forward Tim Ceaser’s three-point play closed the scoring and brought the Chanticleers as close as they had been since the 17:00 mark of the second half. Jones also had another five-steal game, keeping him among the national leaders in steals, at more than four per game.
Caesar finished with eight points and Garrick Green had nine but starting forward Essam Mostafa was held to just four points and five rebounds after having a double-double in Friday’s win. Coastal was off the mark in its shooting too, hitting just 21-of-53 (40 percent). And the Chanticleers just narrowly won the rebounding battle, 35 to 34, after holding a 17-rebound edge on Friday.
In contrast to the night before, Georgia State got the early lead by riding the hot hand of its top scorer Allen, who hit three consecutive three-pointers to put the Panthers up 14-2. It was a 14-point lead, at 20-6, before Coastal went on an 11-2 run to close the gap. Jones was the only Chanticleer to score until midway through the period, but then Tipler and Green helped the cause, with each hitting a couple of long-range jumpers. Green hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final 1:20 to get the Chants into tie at the break.