ATLANTA--R.J. Hunter scored 21 points and Devonta White and Manny Atkins added 16 each as Georgia State defeated Southern Poly, 86-58, Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena.
The trio of Hunter, White and Atkins also combined for 13 rebounds, 11 assists and seven steals. The GSU bench also made strong contributions as Rashaad Richardson scored 15 points, and James Vincent collected seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists.
The Panthers improved to 5-4 on the season. For Southern Poly (5-5), an NAIA program, the game counted as an exhibition.
“After a week of final exams, I was worried that we would start a little slow this afternoon,” commented head coach Ron Hunter after game. “Although I was disappointed with the first half, I was proud of the way we came out in the second half.
“James (Vincent) played extremely well for us today. When James gives us that kind of effort, he is among the best big men in the league.”
Southern Poly stayed close in the first half by hitting nine three-pointers, five of them by Chase Robinson, who scored 19 first-half points. Robinson finished with 27 points.
The Hornets took a one point lead on Devon Butler's three-pointer with 18 seconds left in the first half, but R.J. Hunter answered for GSU with trey to send the Panthers into the locker room with a 37-35 lead.
Southern Poly scored first to open the second half, tying the game at 37-37. After the teams traded three-pointers, a jumper by Hunter gave Georgia State the lead for good at 42-40.
Hunter's bucket ignited a 13-0 run for the Panthers. White hit a short jumper in the lane, then stole the ball in the backcourt and converted a layup for a 46-40 lead. Hunter drained another trey, and then White passed behind his back to feed Vincent for a dunk. After GSU forced a turnover, Vincent made another layup to put the Panthers ahead, 53-40, with 14:36 to play.
Georgia State shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 56 percent in the second half, in which the Panthers outscored Southern Poly, 49-23. GSU held a 44-29 advantage on the boards.
Southern Poly shot just 34.5 percent but made 12 three-pointers to stay within 10 points until the final 10 minutes of the game.
R.J. Hunter finished 7-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, while Atkins was 6-of-11 from the floor. White also finished 6-of-11, including 3-of-6 from three-point range.
Georgia State returns to action with a December 15 game at Troy, while the Panthers' next home game is December 18 versus Southern Miss.