Williamsburg, Va.-Led by 22 points from Devonta White, Georgia State scored a 64-60 victory over William & Mary on Saturday afternoon at Kaplan Arena to secure the Panthers' fourth 20-win season in school history.
White led a Panther offense that knocked down nine three-pointers, just one off a season high, and turned the ball over just six times. The sophomore point guard hit 5-of-8 from three-point range and made 5-of-6 from the free throw line, including four in the final 40 seconds to secure the victory. White had no turnovers in 36 minutes of play.
Georgia State (20-10, 11-7 CAA) finished February 6-2 with its only two losses coming in overtime. The Panthers last reached the 20-win plateau during the 2003-04 season.
"I am so happy for this team," commented first-year head coach Ron Hunter after the game. "To get to 20 wins is special in any season. To be able to do this for our senior class makes it even more special.
"We were able to get the win today by protecting the ball and making our free throws in the final minute. Devonta played a great game and hit four clutch free throws that helped us secure a great victory and give us momentum heading into next week."
Senior Eric Buckner just missed another double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers, adding to his school record with two blocks, giving him 106 for the season.
Redshirt-senior Jihad Ali, who tied Trae Goldston with 122 career games played, the most in school history, added eight points and pulled down six rebounds, finishing just one steal shy of a career-high with four.
The Panthers built an early 10-4 lead four minutes into the game as both White and Richardson knocked down a pair of early three-pointers.
William & Mary (6-25, 4-14 CAA) responded with an 11-0 run of its own to take a 15-10 lead with 12:23 to play in the first half.
White, who finished with nine first half points, keyed a 21-2 GSU run over the next 10 minutes to build a 31-17 lead with under three minutes to play in the half.
The Panthers went into halftime leading 33-22, holding the Tribe to just 34.8 percent shooting, including just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.
William & Mary used a 7-0 run early in the second half to cut the lead to eight, 42-34, before senior Eric Buckner responded with a hook shot with 14 minutes to play.
Georgia State maintained at least a six-point lead throughout the second half, pushing it to double-digits twice before Matt Rum knocked down a three-pointer with 51.- seconds to play to cut the Panthers lead to 58-55. The Panthers went more than four minutes without scoring a point before William & Mary was forced to foul White and send him to the line.
Preseason All-CAA honoree Quinn McDowell led the Tribe with 11 points and nine points on senior day in Williamsburg. Marcus Thornton and Tim Rusthoven came off the bench to each score 10 points.
The Panthers finished 9-of-21 from three-point range, while limiting William & Mary to just 38.5 percent shooting.
Georgia State has secured the No. 6 seed in next week's CAA Championship in Richmond, Va., and will return to action facing No. 11 Hofstra on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Richmond Coliseum. It will be the final game of the opening round of competition with the winner of the tournament earning the CAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.