Atkins scored 26 points and R.J. Hunter added 25 as Georgia State held off
South Alabama, 75-73, in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
Atlanta Subregional at the GSU Sports Arena.
GSU won three
games in the three-day event to improve to 3-2 on the season, while South
Alabama dropped three straight to fall to 2-3, despite 31 points and 11
rebounds by Augustine Rubit.
transfer from Virginia Tech, scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half,
while the freshman Hunter did most of his damage in the second half with 14
points in the final 13 minutes. Both
players achieved career highs less than 24 hours after the duo combined to hit
just three of 18 shots in yesterday’s GSU win.
six of seven shots from the field with four three-pointers in his first-half
barrage. Georgia State shot 52 percent from the field in the half, including
8-for-14 from three-point range, to open a 43-35 lead at the intermission.
“It can be
hard to play three games in three days, but our team rose to the occasion today,”
commented head coach Ron Hunter after the game. “In our first few games, our
defense was keeping us in the game. Today our offense got going. When we start
to play as well as I know we can on both ends of the court, we are going to be
a very dangerous team.
played really well today. He played like a team leader and captain should and I
expect a lot more of these types of games out of him. Manny is a very talented
player and he showed that on the court today.
led 47-37 with 17 minutes to play when the Jaguars reeled off 10 straight
points, tying the game at 47-all on Mychal Ammons’ three-pointer at 14:34.
White’s layup gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish, and then
Hunter hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the GSU advantage to 55-49.
Alabama would stay within striking distance the rest of the way. A layup by
Rubit pulled the Jaguars within 64-63 at the 4:48 mark, but Hunter answered
with a three-point play and then two free throws. Atkins nailed a
three-pointer, his first field goal of the second half, to increase the GSU
lead to 72-64 with 2:22 left.
had one more run. Trailing 74-67 after an Atkins bucket at 1:30, Xavier
Robinson hit back-to-back three-pointers, and suddenly, GSU’s lead was just
74-73 with 35 seconds to go. Hunter was fouled with 16 seconds left and made
one of two free throws. South Alabama advanced the ball over half court and
called timeout, but the Jaguars failed to get off a good shot in the final seconds.
Solomon joined Atkins and Hunter in double figures with 10 points off the bench
for GSU, while White finished with nine.
State shot 50 percent for the game, including 11-for-18 from three-point range,
but the Panthers were outrebounded 36-26.
Wednesday’s first game in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Atlanta Subregional,
Monmouth defeated Tennessee State, 81-70.
State continues its five-game homestand by hosting East Carolina Monday at 7
p.m. at the GSU Sports Arena. Tickets for the “Night-White” game can be
purchased by calling 1-866-GA-STATE or going online to GeorgiaStateSports.com.
Fans are encouraged to wear white to the Monday night affair and free t-shirts
will be handed out.