ATLANTA (AP) — Nijal Pearson scored 27 points with a season-high seven 3-pointers to help Texas State beat Georgia State 81-68 in a battle for first place in the Sun Belt Conference on Thursday night.

Texas State continued its best start since the 1959-60 season. Tre Nottingham and Alex Peacock added 13 points each for the Bobcats (17-3, 6-1).

Texas State pulled away with 18 straight points to lead 79-59 with 2:56 left on Pearson's third 3-pointer during the run.

Peacock opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers, the second giving the Bobcats the lead for good at 48-45.

Devin Mitchell scored 20 points with six 3-pointers, Jeff Thomas added 19 points and D'Marcus Simonds scored 15 for the Panthers. Georgia State (14-6, 5-2) had its largest lead at 42-37 after trailing most of the first half, but Texas State scored the final five points of the period to tie it going into the break.

Texas State evened the season series after a 73-69 loss to Georgia State on Jan. 5.