ATLANTA—Georgia State’s Devonta White hit a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation, but the Panthers fell in overtime, 90-82, to Towson Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena.
Manny Atkins tied his career high with 26 points and White scored a season-high 22, but the Panthers dropped their second straight to fall to 12-14, 7-6 in the CAA.
Rafriel Guthrie scored a career-high 23 points for Towson, which improved to 14-12, 9-4 in the CAA.
The Panthers held Jerrelle Benimon, who entered the game averaging 17.2 points, to just seven points, but five other Tigers scored in double figures. In addition to Guthrie, freshman Jerome Hairston had 17 points, Marcus Damas and Bilal Dixon scored 14 each and Mike Burwell added 12, including a three-pointer that put Towson ahead, 82-77, in overtime.
“I thought we played hard,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “I think our young guys kind of hit the freshman wall today. For a lot of them, this is the most games that they have ever played at an intensity level like this. We will learn from today’s game and keep building the rest of the season.
“Although we lost, I am proud of our team. We trailed in the second half and fought back to send it to overtime. At the end of the day, that is all I can ask of them is to fight and give it everything they have.”
Georgia State trailed 75-70 with a minute to play in regulation when Atkins hit a three-pointer to pull the Panthers within two with 54 seconds left.
After Benimon made one of two free throws for a three-point lead for Towson, Atkins hit a pair from the charity stripe with 6.7 seconds left, and GSU trailed 76-75.
Burwell was fouled immediately on the inbounds play. He made the first but missed the second, leaving the door open. White raced up the court, drove to the basket and was fouled with just 0.6 seconds left, and the senior point guard sank the two foul shots to force the extra session.
But Towson scored the first five points of overtime, and the Panthers were unable to come back again. After Hunter and Markus Crider each hit two free throws, GSU had possession down by just one but could not regain the lead.
Georgia State led 21-12 early before Towson hit three straight three-pointers to tie the game with 8:38 left in the half. The Tigers took a 37-34 lead into the locker room.
The Panthers moved ahead 47-44 on a pair of free throws by R.J. Hunter with 15:23 left, but Hairston answered for Towson with a three-pointer, and the Tigers held their lead until White’s tying free throws.
Towson shot 56.4 percent for the game, including 13 three-pointers on 21 tries, while Georgia State managed 42.6 percent from the field and was outrebounded, 37-32.
Hunter, the Panthers’ sensational freshman, who had averaged better than 30 points over his three games, managed 15 today but was just 1-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Senior James Vincent finished with six points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots, while playing in his 112th game, tying Zavian Smith for the eighth most in school history. The six blocked shots gives him 65 for the season, the third most in a single season in school history. Vincent now has 127 for this career, just one shy of Zavian Smith for the second most in school history.
The Panthers will continue its home-stand on Wednesday welcoming Hofstra to the Sports Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets for that game can be purchased by calling 1-866-GA-STATE or going online to GeorgiaStateSports.com.