The last time a CAA player won both player and rookie honors was Drexel’s Chris Fouch on Feb. 8, 2010.
The freshman guard rewrote Georgia State’s record book on Saturday against Old Dominion, scoring a career-high 38 points on 10 three-pointers, the most in school history, which also tied the most in CAA history.
The 38 points scored are the most by any freshman in the country this season. It was also the sixth most points ever scored by a Georgia State player and the most since Anton Reese scored 38 against Kansas State on Nov. 28, 1998.
He finished 10-of-15 from three-point range and 12-of-18 from the floor, pulling down five rebounds, blocking two shots and had two steals in the 20-point victory over the Monarchs, the first time the Panthers have swept ODU in a season. At one point in the second half, Hunter scored 19 straight GSU points.
“I can honestly say it was one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen,” commented head coach and dad Ron Hunter. “R.J. has worked extremely hard and so it is great to see him getting the recognition. With that said, along with our upperclassmen, R.J. has helped push the team. We have come a long way and are playing some great basketball right now.”
Hunter started the week by helping GSU overcome an 11-point first half deficit at first place Northeastern, scoring a then career-high high 27 points, shooting 10-of-18 from the floor and 5-of-11 from three point range. At one point, he scored 12 straight Panther points late in the first half to get GSU back in the game.
He finished the five-point victory with five assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block in 35 minutes. His biggest play might have been on defense, blocking Jonathan Lee’s jumper with under 20 seconds to play that would have tied game.
For the week, Hunter shot 22-of-36 (61.1%) from the floor, making 15-of-26 (57.7%) three-pointers, 6-of-7 free throws, while pulling down nine rebounds, dishing out five assists, collecting four steals and three blocked shots.
For the season, Hunter is leading all CAA freshmen in scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.3 points and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting 44.5 percent from the floor, 37.2 percent from three, 80.4 percent from the free throw line and has a team-high 58 three-pointers.
He is one of just four freshmen in the country averaging at least 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. His 17.3 points per game are the most of any CAA freshmen in the last 14 years.
Georgia State (12-12, 7-4 CAA) will return to the court at UNCW on Wednesday. Tip is set for 7 p.m. from Trask Coliseum.