Towson, Md.-Georgia State will look to extend its winning streak to three games Monday night facing Towson at 7 p.m. in the Towson Center Arena. The Panthers are concluding a brief two-game road trip, opening the trip with a 15-point win at Old Dominion Saturday night.
Georgia State (8-11, 3-3 CAA) won for the first time at the Ted Constant Center, earning an impressive 69-54 win over the Monarchs as Manny Atkins scored 21 points, the third straight game the redshirt-junior has scored 20 or more.
Despite the 3-3 conference record, Georgia State could easily be 5-1 after a pair of back-to-back one possession losses to Hofstra and Delaware. In the Panthers first 19 games, GSU has been involved in seven one possession games, winning the first three, before falling in the last four.
Monday’s game can be heard live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m. with the ‘Voice of the Panthers’ Dave Cohen calling the action. Live stats and live video will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com.
After struggling from the line earlier in the year, the Panthers are making 78.9 percent in CAA play, upping their season average to 70.2 percent. During the last four games, Georgia State has made 71-of-83 free throws, with redshirt-junior Manny Atkins making 15 straight, just eight shy of tying the school-record of 23 by Nate Williams.
“I have talked all season about how confidence can affect a young team,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “Our team has started to play with a lot confidence and it is also showing at the free throw line. We are taking advantage of our opportunities at the line and it is paying off with victories.
“During our recent stretch, it has been a full team effort. Different guys have stepped up, made big time shots and helped make important stops. We have gotten blocks and rebounds when we needed to, got the opposition to turn the ball over and put games away when given the opportunity. All of those things show that we are maturing as a team.”
Freshman R.J. Hunter leads all CAA freshmen in scoring and rebounding and is one of just six freshmen in the country averaging at least 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. In his first six CAA games, Hunter is averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Hunter has won four CAA Rookie of the Week honors this year and is a leading candidate for rookie of the year honors. He has scored 20-plus points seven times this season, including against Old Dominion on Saturday.
R.J. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron Hunter is averaging a team-high 15.6 points per game, seventh in the CAA, and 5.8 rebounds per game, the 15th best mark in the conference. He is also collecting 1.9 three-pointers per game, fourth best in the league and shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc, eighth in the conference.
Hunter is also among the CAA leaders in free throw percentage, steals, blocked shots and defensive rebounds.
Junior point guard Devonta White, who earned Preseason All-CAA Second Team honors before the season and was also named to the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is second in the CAA in minutes played (36.4) and sixth in steals per game, averaging 1.7 per game.
White is second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.1 points per game, 13th in the CAA, while dishing out 3.5 assists, fourth in the league. The junior has dished out 25 assists in his last four games, tying his career-high of seven assists twice.
One of three team captains, White, who missed 10 games during his freshman season due to an injury, is just 191 points away from becoming the 17th Panther with 1,000 career points. He is just off pace to eclipse that mark by the end of the year, needing to average 15.9 points per game in the remaining regular season contests.
Atkins has missed three double-doubles this season by just one rebound and another four double-doubles by just two rebounds. He finished with 21 points and five rebounds against Old Dominion, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.
From nearby Tucker, Ga., the Virginia Tech transfer is averaging 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season, both among the top 14 in the CAA. Atkins is also shooting 81.7 percent from the free throw line, the fourth best mark in the CAA. He leads the CAA in three-point field goal percentage, hitting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. He is also seventh in the CAA making 1.7 three-pointers per game.
Lone senior James Vincent played in his 100th career game earlier this season against Drexel and with four blocks against Old Dominion, is now tied for fourth in GSU history with 111. Entering Monday, he has 48 blocked shot this season, fifth most in a single-season in school history. He already has nine and eight-blocked shot performances this season.
He is second in the CAA averaging 2.5 blocked shots per game.
Towson (10-9, 5-1 CAA) is led by CAA Player of the Year candidate Jerrelle Benimon, averaging a double-double of 16.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 54.0 percent from the floor.
The Tigers have won two straight and six of their last seven after a 73-47 victory over James Madison on Saturday afternoon.
Following Monday’s game, Georgia State will return home to face UNCW on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game can be purchased by calling 1-866-GA-STATE or going online at GeorgiaStateSports.com.