Lynchburg, Va.—It wasn’t a half-court shot this time, but junior Rashaad Richardson’s three-pointer with less than three seconds left gave Georgia State a 67-66 win at Liberty in the Vines Center on Sunday afternoon. The win gave Panther head coach Ron Hunter the 300th of his career.
Richardson, who hit a half-court buzzer beater just 10 days ago to lift the Panthers over Tennessee State, came off a screen near the top of the arc, hitting his second three of the day.
Hunter, in his second year at the helm of the Panthers, won the 300th game in just his 535 contests.
Georgia State snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-4 with the win, while Liberty fell to 0-8 on the season.
Juniors Manny Atkins and Devonta White each scored 17 points to lead Georgia State, while Davon Marshall led Liberty with 25 points.
After trailing 37-29 at the half, Georgia State opened the second half on a 9-0 run, capped by a Richardson three-pointer to give the Panthers a 38-37 lead with 16:42 remaining in the game. However, it was the final three that had everyone talking after the game.
“That was a big win for us to get on the road,” commented Richardson. “The play was actually not drawn up for me, it was drawn up for either Devonta or R.J., but when I came off the screen, I was open, Devonta got me the ball and I was fortunate enough to make the shot.”
“Although I am extremely proud of Rashaad’s shot to give us the win, I am even more proud of the way we got there,” commented Hunter. “We did not have a good first half, but out guys never gave up and continued to fight. When you don’t give up, great things can happen and tonight we were fortunate enough to come out with a victory.”
Liberty opened the game red-hot in the first half from beyond the arc, hitting 8-of-13 to build its eight-point lead at the half. The Flames finished the game 12-of-24 from three-point range, only slightly cooling off in the second half.
The two teams traded leads seven times, including five times as the game was not decided until the final possession.
Davon Marshall’s three-pointer with 49 seconds remaining gave the Flames a 63-58 lead before GSU finished the game on a 9-3 run.
Following a tip-in and free throw by senior James Vincent cut the deficit to two, Marshall hit another pair of free throws to give Liberty a four-point lead.
Freshman R.J. Hunter, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, followed with a dunk with free throw with 18 seconds to play to cut the deficit to one.
Liberty’s Casey Roberts made the first of two free throws before the Panthers drove to half-court as Hunter called a timeout setting up the final play.
Richardson finished the game 3-of-6 from the floor, including a pair of three’s for 10 points as four Panthers finished in double-figures.
Casey Roberts added 11 points and Tavares Speaks added 10 for the Flames.
Redshirt-sophomore Cameron Solomon once again provided a spark off the bench, scoring eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 21 minutes.
After struggling on the boards the last two games, Georgia State outrebounded Liberty 34-32. GSU’s eight steals helped to forced 16 Liberty turnovers.
Georgia State will take the week off for final exams. The Panthers will return to the court next Saturday, facing Southern Poly in the Sports Arena at 2 p.m.