ATLANTA-Ryan Harrow scored 25 points and R.J. Hunter finished with 24 to lead Georgia State to a 115-55 win over Tennessee Temple in the regular season opener on Friday night at the GSU Sports Arena. The 60-point margin of victory set a school-record as 11 Panthers scored.
The 115 points scored represent the fourth most scored in school history and the most since scoring 109 against UC Irvine in 1988. The previous largest margin of victory was 45 set against Piedmont on Dec. 30, 1986. The 61 points scored in the second half tied for the seventh-most in school history and the first time eclipsing the 60-point mark since 1998.
Georgia State made 40 field goals on a school-record 27 assists and won its 14th-straight home game dating back to last season. The Panthers are now 36-10 at home since Ron Hunter’s arrival in 2011 and 4-0 in home openers.
“As much as we did on offense tonight, I really can’t explain how much I like this team defensively,” Hunter said. “We are getting better. I thought that we shot the ball with more confidence tonight than we did in our exhibition games. That is only going to continue to get better.”
The Panthers shot 40-of-64 from the field, 62.5 percent, the ninth-best mark in school history, while knocking down 13-of-21 (61.9 percent) from 3-point range which also ranks in the top 10 in school history.
Hunter finished the first half with 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including four 3-pointers, the final of which was at the buzzer. He finished the game with a career-high eight assists in just 28 minutes of action.
Harrow score 16 of his points in the first half and finished the game going 9-of-15 from the floor. He added six assists, playing just 25 minutes.
Junior T.J. Shipes added a career-high 10 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds off the bench, going 5-of-7 from the floor. Shipes only took 16 shots as a junior, making 11.
“I have been telling everyone that the light switch turned on for T.J. over the summer,” Hunter said. “I love his energy on the court. He did so many great things for us tonight.”
Senior Curtis Washington added 13 points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of action.
Redshirt-junior Kevin Ware played his first significant regular season minutes since sustaining a leg injury in the 2013 NCAA regional final while at Louisville. He finished the game 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in 28 minutes. Last season, he played in just nine games and 53 minutes off the bench for the Cardinals before taking a medical redshirt.
Leading 15-9 midway through the first half, Georgia State used an 8-0 to take a 23-10 lead. The Panthers extended the run to 20-3 to build a 32-10 lead with 6:09 to play in the first half, building the lead to as many as 31 before the intermission and taking a 54-25 lead into the locker room.
The Panthers pushed the lead to as many as 62 with just under two minutes to play in the game.
Tennessee Temple was led by Bryan Jones who scored 17 points, while BJ Brown came off the bench to score 10.
Georgia State will return to action on Monday traveling to Ames, Iowa, to face No. 14 Iowa State. The game will air live on ESPNU at 9 p.m. ET as a part of the ESPN 24-hour College Hoops Marathon.