ATLANTA — With five of its first six games at home, Georgia State announced the 2014-15 Sun Belt Conference schedule on Thursday morning. The identical schedule for both the men and women’s teams features 20 games beginning Dec. 30.
Head coach Ron Hunter and the defending conference champion Panthers return three starters following a season in which they went 17-1 in the Sun Belt, made an appearance in the Postseason NIT and won 25 games, the second most in program history. Georgia State enters the season on a 13-game home court winning streak after going undefeated at home last year.
On the women’s side, head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener returns 12 letter-winners from a squad that finished fifth in the league and will look to challenge for the regular-season title this year.
For the first time, all conference games will be played as part of doubleheaders. Games times of all Georgia State doubleheaders will be announced at a later date.
Both squads will open the conference portion of the schedule with three straight home games, starting on Tues., Dec. 30 with UL Monroe, followed by UALR (Jan. 3) and Texas State (Jan. 5).
Following a trip to UL Lafayette on Jan. 8, the Panthers will return home for Troy (Jan. 10) and UT Arlington (Jan. 15). The Ragin’ Cajuns upset Hunter’s squad in overtime of the conference tournament final last year as the Panthers looked to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.
For the womens’ squad, the match-up with Troy will come a year after the two teams combined for the highest-scoring game in Sun Belt Conference history.
Georgia State will return to the road to square-off against Sun Belt newcomer Appalachian State on Jan. 17, before making the trek to Arkansas State on Jan. 19. The Red Wolves will return to the Sports Arena less than two weeks later on Jan. 31. The A-State women are the defending regular-season champions.
The Panthers will return home to face UL Lafayette on Jan. 24 before a trip to Texas to face UT Arlington on Jan. 29.
Georgia State will face in-state foe Georgia Southern for the first time as a member of the conference in Statesboro on Feb. 5. The Eagles will return to Atlanta for senior day, the last game of the regular season on March 7.
After trips to South Alabama (Feb. 7) and Texas State (Feb. 14), Georgia State will return home to face the Jaguars again on Feb. 19 and Appalachian State on Feb. 21. The two teams will close the road portion of the conference schedule with trips to UALR on Feb. 26, Troy on Feb. 28 and UL Monroe on March 5.
The Sun Belt Championship will return to New Orleans in March. The women’s tournament begins on March 11 with the championship game scheduled for Sat., March 14, while the men open the championship on March 12. The tournament will follow the same format as last year and end on March 15, which is also Selection Sunday.
Season tickets for the upcoming season are now on sale. Fans can visit GeorgiaStateSports.com or call 866-GA-STATE to purchase.