Free throws lift Panthers in home opener

A dominating second half carried Georgia State to a 69-50 victory against McNeese State in its home opener at GSU Sports Arena on Friday night, handing new coach Ron Hunter his first victory at the school.

Devonta White scored a career-high 23 points to carry the Panthers (1-3) after GSU had a mediocre first half shooting the ball.

Hunter was thrilled with the victory as well as his team’s 18-of-19 effort from the free-throw line as they handled the Cowboys (1-2).

“The first half was too much like how we played in Seattle and that is not good enough to get the job done. The light switch went off over the final 20 minutes and you could really see the confidence build in our team,” Hunter said.

“From the very first practice that we had, I talked about us needing to hit free throws. We were the worst free-throw shooting team in the country last year and I guaranteed that it would not happen again this year. We have put a lot of time and energy into free-throw shooting in practice and tonight it paid dividends.”

Josh Micheaux scored 16 and had a career high in rebounds with 10. Jihad Ali and James Vincent also reached double figures in rebounding.

“The way James Vincent came off the bench in the second half was huge for us,” Hunter said. “He really gave us energy. … When he can play like that, it gives us a great opportunity to win.”

The Panthers went on a 13-3 run in a six-minute span to stretch a 33-31 lead to 46-34 lead with 10 minutes remaining.  They shot 50 percent from the field in the final half.

Notes: Georgia State’s 94.7 free-throw percentage tied for the fifth best single-game mark in school history. … A 3-pointer by Rashaad Richardson with 25 seconds remaining in the first half gave GSU a 24-22 halftime lead. … GSU again hits the road again for its next game, a Tuesday visit at 8 p.m. at Samford in Birmingham.

16 comments Add your comment

GSUtimes2

November 19th, 2011
12:10 am

Congrats! GO GSU!

Steven

November 19th, 2011
12:22 am

Who did they play

Shawdaddy

November 19th, 2011
12:31 am

Ha! Great question, Steven.

GeorgiaState1913

November 19th, 2011
1:24 am

There was a lot of energy in the sports arena tonight! Ron Hunter will bring us back to dominating the state of Georgia like the good ol’ days of Lefty!

itsmeagain

November 19th, 2011
2:11 am

A really awesome game. Full student section, VERY loud, lots of cheering and chanting. THIS was a real college basketball game and the Panthers showed us what a basketball they can be. Onward and upward

itsmeagain

November 19th, 2011
2:17 am

Also, we were the only CAA to win a game last night

Panther08

November 19th, 2011
3:54 am

McNeese State was the opponent…they won 20 games last years and we lost to them 68-62 (last year)

panther pride

November 19th, 2011
10:14 am

Cowboys? Is that the Dallas Cowboys; Ok State Cowboys?

Really?

November 19th, 2011
10:26 am

No journalism school at GSU apparently… no opponent named, no final score. Really? Good win but come on..

blazerdawg

November 19th, 2011
10:59 am

Who was the opponent (other than Cowboys)? Slack.

RoddyJ

November 19th, 2011
11:27 am

Oklahoma State was the opponent

RoddyJ

November 19th, 2011
11:27 am

Haha, edited by “Blog Administrator”…

Nick

November 19th, 2011
12:57 pm

No jlism school at GSU? This is the AJC buddy, not anything to do with GSU…

Itsmeagain

November 19th, 2011
1:16 pm

I was gonna say. This isn’t a school, it’s a national newspaper..:

GSU is in Atlanta

November 20th, 2011
12:39 am

Congrats to Hunter for winning the home opener!

Go GSU Basketball Team!

GSU_MEX_PANTHER

November 21st, 2011
7:25 pm

Go panthers!