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Troy State faces tall challenge in tonight#039;s home gameBy Micah Lewter

Coaches often say, "Games don't get any bigger than this."

Tonight, Troy State head coach Don Maestri could say that literally.

The Atlantic Sun leading Trojans (17-4, 8-1) welcome the North Division's second-place team, the Georgia State Panthers (10-9, 5-3) to Trojan Arena. While some might argue Saturday's game against Jacksonville State is bigger, no one on the Trojans' schedule is taller than tonight's opponent.

Georgia State will bring a pair of 6-11 forwards to the 7 p.m. matchup. Nate Williams leads the Atlantic Sun in scoring with 17.7 points per game. His teammate Reo Logan is no slouch either.

"These guys aren't the normal big, bulky inside guys," Maestri said. "They are quick and athletic and can shoot from outside."

The Trojans are riding a five-game winning streak after sweeping through the state of North Carolina. The Trojans defeated Gardner-Webb 61-60 a week ago and Campbell 100-75 Saturday.

The Gardner-Webb game was a typical Trojan road win. After getting in a deep deficit, Troy State fought back to claim the win. Tonight, the Trojans will have to play a full game.

"We cannot afford to get down early to Georgia State," Maestri said. "They are too good for us to only play one half of basketball."

Georgia State is on a hot streak of its own. The Panthers have won seven of their 10 games since Lefty Driesell decided to retire midseason. Michael Perry has stepped in to lead the team during that stretch.

"Perry has done a great job of keeping the team together," Maestri said.

The Trojans may have a depth advantage in tonight's game. Troy State plays 10 players every game, but Georgia State has only seven on its roster.

The Panthers have split a pair of double-overtime games this year, but they have not had to do it against the type of game Troy State likes to run. The fast-paced style of play may wear the Panthers down at the end.

Maestri, though, was not certain.

"This may be the worst way to play them, but it's the only way we play," Maestri said.

Following tonight's game, the Trojans will play Jacksonville State at home at 7 p.m. Satuday.By Micah Lewter