On Feb. 3, Little Rock (LR) men’s and women’s basketball hosted Georgia State at the Jack Stephens Center. The women’s team managed to pull out their 11th straight victory and remain undefeated in conference play.
The game was a defensive battle throughout. The Panthers 2-3 zone defense bottled LR’s offense in the first quarter. Georgia State led 10-8 at the end of one quarter. LR was able to penetrate the Panther’s defense better in the second quarter and took a 4-point, 22-18 lead into halftime. LR distributed the ball well in the first half, with seven assists on 10 made field goals.
Junior forward Ronjanae Degray made her presence known in the third quarter, scoring seven points in the period. LR extended their lead and took a 40-34 lead into the final quarter. Her twin sister, Raeyana Degray, made a bucket and a block to start the 4th quarter. After Keanna Keys snagged a rebound and scored on the put-back, the Trojans led 50-41 with four minutes remaining.
Georgia State tried to pick up the defensive intensity, but a steal by freshman Tori Lasker led to two made free throws which sealed the victory. LR won with a final score of 54-47.
Lasker finished with 11 points, six assists, three rebounds, and one steal. Keys had a near double-double with 12 points and eight boards. Ronjanae Degray led the team in scoring with 16 and added eight rebounds. Raeyana Degray scored four and gathered seven rebounds. Both Degrays’ added a block and a steal.
The men’s game ended differently. Georgia State put on an offensive clinic and routed the Trojans to a 30-point victory. LR started the game strong and took an early 5-0 lead. The Panthers, however, answered with a 14-0 run and never looked back. The Panthers junior guard Devin Mitchell was on fire beyond the arc in the first half. He went 7-10 from the field in the first segment, six of which were three-pointers. Mitchell had 20 at the half while LR had 24. Georgia State took a 38-24 lead into halftime.
The second half was more of the same for both sides. LR struggled to score to start the half. Georgia State went on a 21-0 run until LR finally scored a tip-in rebound by senior forward Wadly Mompremier. LR faced a 33-point deficit at the 12:25 mark.
Mitchell continued his hot shooting throughout the game. He set a Jack Stephens Center record with 10 three-pointers and finished with 38 points on the night, both career highs. Mitchell also became the 2nd player to make ten three-pointers in a game in the NCAA this year.
The one shining spot for the Trojans was freshman guard Cameron Corcoran. Corcoran finished with 18 points, going 5-8 from three and 6-9 overall. LR also forced the Panthers into 21 turnovers, showing their defensive tenacity. The field goal percentage really tells the story of the game. LR finished at 36% while the Panthers shot 54%.
Both programs will be on the road for their next three games. LR will return to the Jack Feb. 22, to host Coastal Carolina.