Harrisonburg, Va.-Georgia State hit all 17 second-half free throws and senior James Vincent scored a season-high 16 points to lead the Panthers to a 66-62 win at James Madison in their final CAA road game on Saturday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.
Vincent, playing in his 116th career game, sixth most in school history, went 6-of-10 from the floor, pulling down seven rebounds and blocking three shots.
Georgia State, which missed its only free throw in the first half, made 17 straight in the second half, while James Madison made just 8-of-14. JMU's. A.J. Davis missed a pair of free throws for a possible lead with 1:46 to play, but a Markus Crider layup at the other end pushed it tup o three points with 1:15 to play and the Dukes never got closer than two again..
Davis finished with a game-high 22 points after scoring just three in the first half.
Georgia State (15-15, 10-7 CAA) earned its fourth straight win over the Dukes and finishes the series out having won seven of the last eight meetings. James Madison (16-14, 10-7 CAA) lost its second straight and fell into a tie for fifth with the Panthers in the conference standings with one game to play.
“We didn’t play a perfect game, but we made our free throws and made stops when we needed to,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “We have played really well on the road this season and despite not getting a chance to play in the conference tournament, this team wants to finish strong. We knew we had to come in here and get a win to have a chance to finish above .500.”
R.J. Hunter, who came into the game needing 12 points to tie Matt O’Brien’s freshman scoring record, came up just one point shy. He finished 5-of-10 from the floor and pulled down six rebounds.
The Panthers took an early 15-5 lead with 13:17 remaining in the first half following a pair of Richardson three-pointers.
James Madison cut into the Panthers lead and following a pair of Rayshawn Goins free throws, trailed by just one, 25-24 with 1:43 to play in the first half.
Georgia State went into the locker room with a 27-24 lead.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 7-0 run, building a 34-24 lead with 18:02 to play. GSU made its first four shots of the second half.
A jumper by White pushed the lead to 13, Georgia State’s biggest, 39-26 with 16:10 to play.
JMU responded as Davis scored eight straight Duke points and following a 7-0 run, cut the Panthers lead to 41-36 with 12:55 to play in the game.
The Dukes cut it to 44-42 with 9:54 to play as the Panthers never led again by more than six.
Despite not taking the lead, freshman Andre Nation’s three-pointer with 2:55 to play tied the game at 58.
Trailing 62-59 with under a minute to play, Charles Cooke missed a pair of three-pointers from the corner that would have tied the game.
Following the second miss, Richardson hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to five. Following a Davis three, White made two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Crider finished with eight points off the bench for GSU.
Moore added 14 points and five assists for the Dukes.
Georgia State will close out the 2012-13 regular season hosting first place Northeastern on Wednesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. as the Panthers will honor lone senior James Vincent before the start of the game.