Georgia State fell to Duke 74-55 in the season opener, but played better than almost anyone expected.
It's not very often you can feel great after losing, but the Georgia State Panthers have found themselves in one of those rare moments. Despite losing on Friday night 74-55 to the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Panthers played tough and hung in for a majority of the game against one of the nation's premier programs.
Head coach Ron Hunter seemed very pleased with his team's effort, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coach Hunter said, "I didn’t know what to expect. I’m so excited about this basketball team. I’m bubbling inside."
Ultimately, the Panthers were beaten by the simple lack of size on their roster compared to the much larger Duke squad. Georgia State tried to compensate, but ultimately couldn't find a way to neutralize the Blue Devils' biggest advantage in the contest.
Duke forward Mason Plumlee was unstoppable, collecting 19 points and 14 rebounds on the night.
Now, the Bulldogs will travel to take on the BYU Cougars on Tuesday in another one of the toughest venues in sports, something not lost on Hunter, per AJC.com:
"I wanted to throw my kids into the first with two of the hardest places to play in the country, at Duke and at BYU. After we get through with this, there’s not going to be anything my kids can’t fight through."