By Nathan Ham
Appalachian State is hoping to pick up their fifth Sun Belt Conference win in their last six games when they face Georgia State tonight at 7 p.m.
The Mountaineers (10-9, 4-2 SBC) finished off the season sweep of Coastal Carolina last Saturday with an 84-76 overtime win on the road after beating them in Boone two days earlier, 61-60. Those two victories moved the Mountaineers into second place in the SBC.
Georgia State was the preseason pick to win the Sun Belt, but their season certainly hasn’t started like they had hoped. The Panthers are 6-7 overall and have lost both of their conference games so far. Georgia State has also dealt with COVID-19 issues within the program and have had four SBC games postponed.
This game will mark the 17th meeting between the two programs with each team having eight wins. Most recently, the Mountaineers have won three of the last four games including the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship game last year that sent App State to the NCAA Tournament.
The Mountaineers will continue riding the hot hand of Adrian Delph. The senior was named the Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds a game in the two-game set against Coastal Carolina. Delph is currently averaging 19.8 points per game, which ranks him third in the conference.
Georgia State will counter with a balanced scoring effort that features four players averaging double-figure totals. Senior guard Corey Allen leads the Panthers with 15.3 PPG. Senior guard Justin Roberts is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 PPG. Another senior guard, Kane Williams, is third in scoring with 12.5 PPG and leads the team in assists dishing out just over four assists per game. Junior guard Nelson Phillps is averaging 10.3 PPG and leads the team with almost two steals per game. As a team, Georgia State leads the Sun Belt with 9.2 steals per contest.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and can be watched on ESPN+. The Mountaineers will wrap up play this week on the road at Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. That game will also be streamed live on ESPN+.
Sun Belt Conference standings
*As of January 19
1 Troy: 12-5, 3-1 conference
2 Appalachian state: 10-9, 4-2 conference
3 UT-Arlington: 8-9, 4-2 conference
4 Arkansas State: 11-4, 2-1 conference
5 Texas State: 11-4, 2-1 conference
6 Louisiana: 8-7, 3-2 conference
7 South Alabama: 12-5, 2-2 conference
8 Little Rock: 6-8, 1-1 conference
9 UL-Monroe: 10-8, 2-4 conference
10 Georgia Southern: 8-7, 1-3 conference
11 Coastal Carolina: 9-8, 1-4 conference
12 Georgia State: 6-7, 0-2 conference