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ATLANTA- Sophomore D’Marcus Simonds recorded the first triple-double in school history and Georgia State cruised to a 90-50 win over Carver Bible College on the opening night of basketball season on Friday.
Simonds finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in just 28 minutes of action. He went 9-of-13 from the floor while also swiping four steals.
Junior Malik Benlevi added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while senior Jordan Session just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior Devin Mitchell also added 18 points as four Panthers scored in double figures.
Georgia State (1-0) improved to 7-0 in regular season home openers under head coach Ron Hunter, winning by an average margin of 30.3 points per game. Carver fell to 0-5 on the season.
“Although we came away with the win, I was not happy with our mental preparation the last two days,” Hunter said. “I didn’t think we executed to our ability and made too many mistakes. With that said, give Carver a lot of credit. They came in and played hard for all 40 minutes.”
Carver kept the game close early, taking a 7-6 lead with just under 16 minutes to play as the Cougars knocked down three of their first four shots.
With just under eight minutes to play, Georgia State still only led by three, 16-13, before the Panthers went on a 15-0 run to lead 31-13 with 4:28 to play.
The Panthers went into the half leading 42-19 led by Simonds who scored 12 and Benlevi who had 10. Georgia State forced Carver into 13 first half turnovers and just 34.8 percent shooting, while outscoring the Cougars 24-6 in the paint.
Georgia State scored the first seven points of the second half and then used an 11-0 run midway thru the second 20 minutes to build a 64-27 lead with 13:21 play following a Simonds pass-off-the-backboard dunk.
The Panthers led by as many as 50 with 3:47 to play before Hunter cleared his bench.
Redshirt-sophomore Jordan Tyson added eight points and seven rebounds, while freshman Josh Linder also finished with eight points.
Saveyon Edwards led Carver Bible College with 15 points and four assists, while Ja’Myri Evans chipped in with eight points.
Georgia State will return to the court on Tuesday opening the MGM Grand Main Event at Rice in Houston, Texas. Tip is set for 8 p.m. ET and can be seen live on FloSports.tv.
- The 40-point margin of victory is the seventh-largest in school history.
- The Panthers improved to 2-0 all-time against Carver Bible College.
- Georgia State’s 23 assists were just outside of the top 20 in a single-game in school history.
- The Panthers attempted 35 3-pointers, the fifth-most in school history.
- Georgia State won its third-straight home game dating back to last year.