Fairfax, Va. - Georgia State shot 53.7 percent from the floor and hit 10 three-pointers en route to a 78-60 victory at George Mason Saturday afternoon in the Patriot Center.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak to the Patriots and gave GSU its first win at the Patriot Center in its final appearance before moving to the Sun Belt Conference next season.
Atkins finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Panthers led by as many as 27 in the second half during the CSS-TV game.
White shot 9-of-14 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range for his 23 points while dishing out six assists. Hunter finished 10-of-19 from the floor as Georgia State shot 62.1 percent in the first half, hitting 7-of-11 from three-point range.
Georgia State (14-14, 9-6 CAA) won for the second straight time and eighth time in the last 11 games. George Mason (15-11, 8-6 CAA) lost for an uncharacteristic third straight time at home.
“I thought our kids played really hard and left everything on the court,” commented head coach Ron Hunter after the game. “We have talked about this game since our last game on Wednesday as it was going to be the last time we played in this building. Regardless of what the score was, we were going to play with a chip on our shoulder.”
Mason had eliminated the Panthers from the CAA Tournament in each of the last two years, including during Hunter’s first season at the helm of GSU.
“My young guys are growing up. Four of our top eight players are freshmen, and today they did not play like freshmen at all. That makes me the most happy knowing that the program is heading in the right direction.”
Behind the hot shooting of Sherrod Wright, the Patriots took an early six-point lead, 19-13 with 12:38 to play in the first half. Wright scored 15 points in the opening half, shooting 5-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-5 from three-point range, hitting three of those three’s in the first four minutes of the game.
Georgia State responded with a 25-5 run over the next six minutes to take a 38-24 lead with 6:24 to play in the first half. The Panthers pushed the lead to 18 with five minutes to go and the lead never fell below below digits again. GSU took a 51-36 lead into the locker room.
The 51 points scored in the first half were the most for the Panthers in a half this season, topping the 50 points scored in the second half against Old Dominion in Atlanta.
White and Hunter each scored 14 points in the first half, while Atkins and Richardson scored nine a piece.
The Panthers continued to extend the lead in the second half, leading by as many as 27 with 10 minutes to play.
Freshman Markus Crider came off the bench to score seven points and pull down five rebounds in 28 minutes. Crider’s effort helped the Panthers outrebound Mason 34-27.
On the defensive end, GSU swiped eight steals and forced the Patriots in 13 turnovers which led to 16 Panther points.
Wright finished with 19 points for George Mason, while Marko Gujanicic came off the bench to score 10, the only other Patriot in double-figures.
Georgia State will remain in Virginia to take on William & Mary on Monday night at 7 p.m.