James Madison will look to extend its longest winning streak in two years when it travels to Atlanta to face the Georgia State Panthers on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Dukes (7-6, 1-0 CAA) are looking to build on their first conference win of the year. Redshirt senior forward Rayshawn Goins led all scorers with 16 points as Madison gutted out a gritty 58-55 win over in-state rival Old Dominion on Wednesday. In doing so, the Dukes earned their first win in Norfolk since January 7, 2009.
However, Norfolk isn't the only locale where wins have been hard to come by for JMU. GSU Sports Arena has been a hostile place to play for those wearing purple. Similarly to the Monarchs, the Panthers (5-9, 0-1 CAA) haven't lost at home to the Dukes since the 2008-2009 season. JMU has lost five of its last six matchups with GSU.
JMU enters its 14th game of the regular season riding a four-game winning streak. It's the longest streak since a 36-day stretch through the 2010-2011 season that also spanned from December and into the new year. Totaling nine wins all together, that winning streak also saw the last time the JMU men's basketball team defeated Georgia State, a 79-67 home win on January 13, 2011.
This time around, the team is anchored by Goins' low post game and a versatile backcourt group, which will likely be led by a trio of freshmen against the Panthers. With Devon Moore and Andrey Semenov both likely out for JMU, newcomers Ron Curry, Charles Cooke and Andre Nation will each likely see continued increased minutes.
Goins leads the team in both scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game). He was one rebound shy of his second double-double in four games and third of the season on Wednesday.
The Panthers will try to snap a five-game losing skid on Saturday after dropping their first Colonial Athletic Association game of the season at home to Drexel on Wednesday. Freshman guard R.J. Hunter, the son of head coach Ron Hunter, has lifted the Panthers of late, averaging 21 points over his last four games.
Georgia State is 1-0 against teams from the state of Virginia, having defeated Liberty on a last-second shot in Lynchburg 67-66 on December 2, but they haven't won a home game against a Division I opponent since November 21.