ATLANTA-Georgia State will return home after a week off for final exams and host Southern Poly on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Sports Arena. It will mark one of just two home games for the Panthers in the month of December.
Georgia State (4-4) got back in the win column last Sunday with a 67-66 win against Liberty. Junior captain Rashaad Richardson provided the heroics once again, hitting a three-pointer with less than three seconds remaining to give GSU the victory.
Southern Poly is currently 4-5 and will be playing Bob Jones University on Friday night before its match-up with the Panthers.
The game can be heard live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 1:30 p.m. Live stats and live video will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com.
A pre-game event for PAC donors of the $100 level and higher is also set for Monday starting an hour before the Panthers tip. Donors can meet, network and enjoy food and beverages in the PAC Lounge on the third floor of the GSU Sports Arena. To register, please call 404-413-4144.
Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter will be honored before the game after winning his 300th career game against the Flames. In his 19th season as a head coach, it took Hunter just 535 games to reach the impressive milestone.
“I have been blessed to have had so many talented student-athletes play for me,” commented Hunter on the achievement. “They are the reason I have been able to win so many games. In just over a season at Georgia State we have been able to win a bunch as well and I look forward to winning many more in the Sports Arena.”
Hunter has helped make the Sports Arena a difficult place to play. The Panthers are 16-5 in his one-plus seasons in the cozy confines which included a 10-game home court winning streak last season.
“We have made the Sports Arena a difficult place to play,” continued Hunter. “Our fans are great and make a ton of noise. They are also great at picking our guys up. They are a big reason for our success.”
A lot of that success over the last few years has been with the help of junior point guard Devonta White, who earned Preseason All-CAA Second Team honors this year. White leads the team in scoring with 15.0 points per game, 10th in the CAA, and minutes, 36.4, third in the league. One of three team captains, White is also averaging 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game. He is just 338 points away from becoming the 17th Panther with 1,000 career points. He is on pace to eclipse that mark by the end of the year.
Freshman R.J. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron Hunter, is scoring 14.3 points per game following a 12-point, seven-rebound game against Liberty. He is 12th in the CAA in scoring and 16th in rebounding, averaging 5.9 per game. He has already been named CAA Rookie of the Week twice this season.
Hunter is among the CAA leaders in free throw percentage, three-point percentage, three-pointers made, steals and defensive rebounds.
Redshirt-junior Manny Atkins enters Monday’s contest following a 17-point, 38-minute performance against the Flames. The Virginia Tech transfer has scored 71 points in his last four games.
Atkins is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, shooting 81.0 percent from the free throw line, seventh best in the CAA. He is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage, hitting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc. He is also tied for fifth in the CAA making 1.8 three-pointers per game.
Richardson, who provided the heroics last weekend and hit a 45-foot half-court buzzer-beater to defeat Tennessee State earlier this year, has started six of eight games this season and is averaging 5.6 points per game.
Redshirt-sophomore Cameron Solomon has been one of the Panthers top players off the bench. He scored eight points in 21 minutes against the Liberty and is averaging 6.4 points per game, fourth best on the team, despite playing just 13.9 minutes per contest.
Southern Poly Tech is located in nearby Marietta, Ga. The NAIA school was ranked first in the SSAC Preseason Poll and sixth national NAIA DIMBB Top-25 Preseason Poll before the start of the season.
Following Saturday’s game, Georgia State will take the week off before facing former and soon-to-be Sun Belt Conference foe Troy on Dec. 15. The Panthers and Trojans will tip at 8 p.m. from Trojan Arena.