Boston, Mass.--Northeastern used hot shooting from three-point range to defeat Georgia State, 60-57, in a Colonial Athletic Association game Wednesday at Matthews Arena in Boston, Mass.
Georgia State got 17 points and six blocks from Eric Buckner but lost for just the second time in its last 15 games to fall to 13-5, 5-2 CAA. The Huskies improved to 9-8 overall and equaled GSU at 5-2 in the CAA.
Redshirt-senior Jihad Ali, who finished with eight points and six rebounds, had a three-pointer fall just short with five seconds to play. The clock ran out as the Panthers fought to for the rebound.
Northeastern nailed 11 three-pointers, all from the trio of Joel Smith (4), Quincy Ford (4) and Jonathan Lee (3), on 21 attempts from beyond the arc. Georgia State had not allowed a team to reach double-digits in three-pointers since FAU hit 15 in the third game of the season. Entering the game, GSU opponents were shooting less than 31 percent from three-point range.
"I thought Northeastern played really well tonight," commented head coach Ron Hunter. "You have to give them credit because they were able to get some open three-pointers that really hurt us in the first half. We pride ourselves on being a better defensive team than the way we played in the first half, but you have to credit them for the job they did."
The Panthers entered the evening among the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense and field goal defense.
Trailing by 10 midway through the second half, 48-38, senior James Fields scored eight points as part of a 12-4 Panthers run, cutting the Huskies lead to 52-50 with 6:31 to play. Fields finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds, dishing out three assists.
The game stayed close and when sophomore Devonta White hit a pair of free throws with just 14.8 second remaining, the Panthers trailed by just one, 58-57.
White scored 11 points and dished out three assists for the Panthers.
Lee, who finished with a game-high 19 points, responded with a pair of free throws to secure the Northeastern victory. The all-conference guard shot 6-of-10 from the floor, dishing out seven assists.
Led by the inside presence of Buckner, Georgia State took an early 19-16 lead in a half that featured four times and three lead changes.
Northeastern used a late 6-0 first half run to take a 22-19 lead with 6:52 remaining, keyed by continued strong three-point shooting from the outside.
GSU quickly responded with a 6-0 run of its own to take a 25-22 lead with 3:57 to play. However, once again led by strong three-point shooting, the Huskies responded with a 7-0 run to take a 30-25 lead with 1:55 to play in the half.
The Huskies led 35-31 at half-time and never trailed in the second half, shooting 8-of-10 from three-point range and 57.9 percent from the floor.
State's inside presence outscored the Huskies 36-14 in the paint, while outrebounding NU 33-24.
Smith finished with 13 points and five rebounds for NU, while Ford added 14 on 4-of-5 three-pointers.
Georgia State will return to action on Saturday, concluding a two-game road trip at Delaware. The Panthers will take on the Blue Hens at 2 p.m.