InsideGSUSports will have a special guest blogger throughout the 2013-14 academic year as BlueMan gives his thoughts on all things GSU Athletics. Daniel Wilson, aka BlueMan, has set a goal of attending more than 100 GSU sporting events this year. Following a pair of impressive home wins for the Panthers, BlueMan put pen-to-paper once again.
What thrill these past few days have been! For the past month, each event I’ve attended has routinely entered my top-10 list for favorite memories here at GSU. I had a great time going on vacation with my friends to the ECU game in December. Last week’s road game at Western Kentucky was fun too. One could not have asked for a better way to start this semester, though, than these past few days.
On Thursday, Georgia State played host to Arkansas State in the most anticipated home game I’ve ever seen in my time here. So much excitement and anticipation surrounded this game, not only because it was a battle for first-place in the Sun Belt, but also because they were riding a then 7-game winning streak, and are still red-hot to this day. The Panthers led for most of the game, but then the Red Wolves came back strong, storming to a 7-point lead with 4-minutes left. At that point, I thought we were done for sure. However, I saw something out of this team that wasn’t present last year.
Last season was defined by a lot of close losses. In many of the games, the Panthers had a lead, only to lose it in the second have. This game was no different. It had Towson, Delaware, and Northeastern written all over it. But this Panthers team has grown so much since then. Unlike last season, this Panthers team has a lot more fight in them. They were determined not to lose this one. Not this time. They slowly came back. The crowd got on their feet. Then RJ hit the game-winner and the building exploded! I left happy, not only because I witnessed a great game, but also because my team won yet again.
Thursday passed by, then Friday, until finally, Saturday came. This was no ordinary Saturday, though. This was the day of the “Barefoot game;” the day when Coach Hunter coaches barefoot to raise awareness for the Samaritan’s Feet organization. Since there was a double-header that day, Coach Baldwin-Tener joined in, going barefoot herself. I decided to do the same thing, going without shoes for both games. I had a great time. My feet hurt, though, afterward.
Back to the action. The women’s basketball team played their game. Things haven’t always gone the teams’ way this year. For all of their struggles, though, they’ve only lost twice in any of their games I’ve attended, as a fan or as a camera op. They are a talented team to say the least, and have shown it with big wins over Belmont and Arkansas State. They always come to play against the good teams. UALR was the preseason favorite to win the conference, and for a while, they played like it. But in the end, the Panthers came through, thanks to Gabby Moss’ game-winning lay-up.
Finally, the men’s game arrived. Like Thursday’s game, this one was also a battle for first place in the conference. Going into the match, though, I had a feeling that Georgia State would win again, but I figured that the game would be much closer. I didn’t think we’d blow them right out of the building. But we did. Because of that, not only have the Panthers set themselves apart with a two-game lead in the conference, but they have also sent a clear message that they are the team to beat come New Orleans in March.
Through these three games, I could not help but notice how good the crowds were. There was a good crowd during each of them. But it was in the final minute of the Arkansas State game where they earned their credit. As the game wound down Georgia State was down. They needed a defensive stop. It was then that the crowd made so much noise that my eardrums were bursting. That was the loudest I have ever heard it get in the Sports Arena. I am so proud of my fellow students for coming out and bringing their support, because without it, I don’t think the team would have won that game.
Until next time,