Panthers Top Old Dominion, 69-54, Get Back to .500 in CAA
Atkins has scored 20 or more points in three straight games, while Hunter scored 20 or more for the seventh time this season.
With legendary former head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell in the building, the Panthers won for the first time at the Ted Constant Center and for just the second time at Old Dominion dating back to the 1977-78 season.
Devonta White added 15 points and tied a career-high with seven assists for Georgia State (8-11, 3-3 CAA). Senior James Vincent tied a career-high with 12 rebounds and blocked four shots, while also collecting three steals.
With his four blocked shots, Vincent tied Torquin Gresham (1997-2000) for fourth most in GSU history. In his two career games in Norfolk, Vincent set career-highs in blocks both times, collecting 11 two years ago.
The loss dropped Old Dominion to 2-16, 0-6 in the CAA.
“I am really proud of my team,” commented head coach Ron Hunter after the win. “I have 10 freshman or sophomores on my team. A win like this shows that we are really starting to mature and come together as a team.
“We have played in some of the toughest places in the country this year and I probably over-scheduled a little early. Over the last month, this group has gotten better and better and better. Tonight, that effort paid off.”
R.J. Hunter’s three-pointer at the half gave Georgia State a four-point lead, 29-25, going into the locker room as the Monarchs never led.
Hunter shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made 6-of-7 from the free throw line, grabbing four rebounds and two of the Panthers six steals. The Panthers forced the Monarchs into 17 turnovers.
After building a nine-point lead at 42-33 with 16:44 to play, the Monarchs trailed just 57-51 with 5:11 to play. The Panthers finished the game on a 12-3 run.
Atkins finished the game 6-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 from three-point range. The redshirt-junior entered the day leading the CAA in three-point shooting, hitting 40.3 from beyond the arc.
Georgia State held the Monarchs nearly 11 minutes in the first half with just one field goal, however, ODU shot 18 free throws in the opening period, as compared to just eight for the Panthers. The trend reversed in the second half as GSU went to the line 14 times, making 12, and ODU shot just five.
Vincent played in his 105th game on Saturday, moving into a tie for 11th with Terrence Brandon, Travis Williams and Chavelo Holmes.
Atkins made the Panthers first two free throws of the game, extending the Panthers steak to 18 straight made shots dating back to last Wednesday’s game against William & Mary before a miss by White in the middle of the first half.
Dimitri Batten led Old Dominion with 14 points off the bench, while Donte Hill scored 13 and pulled down seven rebounds.
Georgia State will bus from Norfolk to Baltimore on Sunday to prepare to face Towson on Monday night at 7 p.m. The Panthers will return home to face UNCW on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.