Hempstead, N.Y.-Georgia State overcame a 12-point second half deficit, but Stevie Mejia’s lay-up with six seconds remaining gave Hofstra a 52-50 win on Monday night at the Mack Sports Complex.
Senior James Vincent’s put-back with less than 20 seconds tied the game, but after Mejia’s shot, junior Devonta White’s three-pointer as time expired was just off the mark.
Mejia finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, pulling down five rebounds for Hofstra.
With the loss, Georgia Stat fell to 6-10, 1-2 in the CAA. Hofstra snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved to 4-10, 1-0 in the conference.
Freshman R.J. Hunter, who earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the fourth time this season earlier in the day, led the Panthers with 13 points but managed to shoot just 4-of-15 from the floor and 1-of-8 from three-point range.
“I am obviously disappointed with the loss,” commented head coach Ron Hunter after the game. “I thought we came out strong, but then we allowed Hofstra to take control of the game.
“I was proud of the way we fought back in the second half, but we cannot allow ourselves to get down by double-digits and expect to win.”
White finished with 11 points and redshirt-junior Manny Atkins added 10 points for the Panthers, who shot 36.0 percent from the floor and just 2-of-20 from three-point range. GSU did hit 85.7 percent from the free throw line and outrebounded the Pride, 32-27.
Trailing 37-25 with 15:36 to play, Georgia State used an 8-0 run over a three-minute stretch to slice the deficit to four on a three-pointer by Hunter.
The Panthers cut it to one, 39-38 with 9:03 to play, holding the Pride without a field goal for nearly six minutes.
Georgia State continued to keep it close in the final few minutes before junior Denny Burguillos hit two free throws with 3:46 to play to tie the game at 46. Hofstra responded with four straight points before White cut the deficit to two again.
Georgia State opened the game on an 8-2 run, but Hofstra quickly responded with an 8-0 run of its own to take an early 10-9 lead.
After the Panthers responded and took a 17-12 lead, the Pride held GSU without a field goal for nine minutes, taking a 27-19 lead with just under two minutes to play in the first half.
Taran Buie added 12 points for Hofstra, while Stephen Nwaukoni came off the bench to score seven points and pull down eight rebounds in 25 minutes.
The Pride shot 45.7 percent from the floor and hit 6-of-18 from three-point range.
Georgia State will now return home to face Delaware on Saturday at noon. The game will air live on CSS and will serve as the Centennial Game for Georgia State University, which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2013. Tickets are available by calling 1-866-GA-STATE or visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com.