Late rally falls short; Belmont upper parts GSU 68-66

ATLANTA — Dwon Odom scored 24 points and Georgia State nearly overcame a 10-point deficit before falling to Belmont 68-66 Sunday afternoon at the GSU Convocation Center.

Odom was one of four panthers to go into double figures. The Alpharetta second blasted 10 of 18 off the field with eight rebounds and had a chance to level the game at the end of regulation but failed to bring down the layup.

Jamaine Mann scored 17 points and shot 6 of 13 from the field with eight rebounds. Ja’Heim Hudson narrowly missed a double-double and had 13 points with nine rebounds, and Danny Stubbs had 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting with two threes.

Georgia State (4-3) played its third straight game without starting wardens Brenden Tucker and Evan Johnson, failing to overcome a blistering Belmont offense that shot 52 percent (13 of 25) from three-point range. The Bruins (4-3) were led by Drew Friburg, who scored 24 points and shot a remarkable 7-of-10 from three.

“I only have great things to say about Belmont. Well trained team. They can absolutely put the blood out of the ball,” said GSU head coach Jonas Hayes. “This will only be one step in our process of becoming the team we are capable of, but I have 1000 percent faith in them Guys in our dressing room. We’ll keep getting better. I do realize that we need to guard the three-point line a little better, but don’t take anything away from Belmont. They came in here and won.”

The Panthers were 68-61, 1:25 behind when Danny Stubbs drilled a three-pointer to reduce the deficit to four. Dwon Odom then pulled a foul on a steal attempt with 52 seconds left and made both free throws for a 68-66.

GSU got the ball back after forcing a turnover but then flipped the ball over himself and had to foul with seven seconds left. Belmont missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Odom drove across the court to the basket but his shot missed in traffic.

The result was 57-49 Belmont with 7:48 left as Georgia State rallied when Odom made a layup and two free throws to draw the Panthers to four. A Bruin three-pointer pushed the lead back to seven before Stubbs and Odom made layups and two Hudson free throws to one, but the Panthers were no closer.

With a 33 draw and 17:29 left as Belmont went on a 13-3 run to take a 10-point lead.

GSU briefly took a 27-26 lead on a Hudson three-pointer at 3:47 in the first half, but the Bruins immediately scored five of the next seven points to lead by two points at halftime.

The Panthers will host Middle Georgia State on Thursday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the GSU Convocation Center