GSU wins 11th consecutive game, knocks off VCU

Georgia State defeated VCU, which made it to the Final Four last year, 55-53 on Wednesday in Richmond. It was the Panthers’ 11th consecutive win, extending the school record. GSU is off to the best start in school history and will face George Mason on Saturday in Fairfax, Va.

Before the season, not knowing what was upcoming, this gauntlet of Drexel, VCU and George Mason figured to be an 0-for-3 stretch. The three teams were predicted to finish atop the CAA, while the Panthers were selected 11th.

Now, Georgia State is atop the CAA after defeating the Dragons and Rams, with the Patriots up next. Another win and you just might see the Panthers in the Others Receiving Votes section of the AP Top 25. I say might because the team’s strength of schedule, whether you like it or not, is still fairly low.

But, what a difference a year makes. The Panthers won 12 games all of last year, and were hammered by 17 points in last year’s trip to VCU.

Recapping the win over the Rams:

The Good: Where to start? The Panthers won their first major road test of the season against arguably the CAA’s best test team. The arena was sold out, but the Panthers were ahead most of the game. … VCU hit Georgia State with three consecutive 3-pointers late in the game that turned a comfortable margin into a nail-biter. The only blink came when Devonta White missed two free-throws that would have iced the game. However, after being held scoreless in the first half White scored 14 in the second half. … Jihad Ali continues to be a calming presence and really the team’s only consistent go-to outside shooter. He led the Panthers with 17 points. … GSU’s defense continues to disrupt, limiting the Rams to 27-percent shooting and creating 10 turnovers.

The Bad: For at least the second consecutive game the Panthers were killed on the offensive glass. The Rams had 16 offensive rebounds, a game after Drexel grabbed 13. … Georgia State’s bench scored just two points and really didn’t contribute much in limited minutes. Hunter says he’ll only play eight guys, but I would expect he wants something from them when they do play.

What’s next: How does this change your expectations for the rest of the season? There are still quite a few tough games remaining, including a road game at Drexel on Jan. 25, a return engagement against VCU on Jan. 28 and another home against Old Dominion on Feb. 22.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

Lastly, in honor of Georgia State’s 11th win, these also go to 11

59 comments Add your comment

acm

January 4th, 2012
11:26 pm

The way he’s coaching, I wonder how long GSU can hang on to Coach Hunter?

Bills

January 4th, 2012
11:30 pm

Wow. These guys might be for real. The definitely look like the class of this state.

Doug Roberson

January 4th, 2012
11:30 pm

I would reckon for at least the next four years. Remember, his son committed to play for him.

GSU_MEX_PANTHER

January 4th, 2012
11:30 pm

Great win Panthers! Love the way we are playing defense!

joe in tucker

January 4th, 2012
11:31 pm

@acm – with enough dollars and winning seasons – indefinitely!!

Ben M

January 4th, 2012
11:34 pm

We are certainly lucky to have him, and I would assume coach Hunter will be around for the next 4 years. His son, RJ has committed to State over offers from Va. Tech, Wake and others… Doubt he’ll leave his kid high and dry.

GSUUSSOCCER

January 4th, 2012
11:35 pm

@acm You have a point and I would be truly bummed if we were to lose Hunter. I hope Levick can do all she can to keep him here.

Awesome win by GSU and onto George Mason, let’s make it 12 in a row!!!

GSU_MEX_PANTHER

January 4th, 2012
11:40 pm

@Doug: I expect them to compete at a high level every time they step on the court. If CRH keeps them focused and gets our offense to improve I can see us competing for the top spot in the CAA.

GSU alumni

January 4th, 2012
11:44 pm

I am so proud of you Georgia State Panther!!

BariBlue

January 4th, 2012
11:45 pm

AWESOMEin tonight PANTHERS! We played a great game and consistently led a good VCU team. This team is amazinging. You all deserve a sold out arena at EVERY GAME. Panther fans, let’s do OUR PART and give it to these kids. It’s time to step up. GO STATE OR GO HOME!!!!!

Biff Pocoroba

January 4th, 2012
11:46 pm

Even Ga Tech beat VCU this year so they must not be that great. Their coach might be another one year wonder like Hewitt who managed to get a nice lifetime contract out of it. GSU should be able to win the next game since Hewitt’s teams can’t shoot free throws or hold onto the ball.

BariBlue

January 4th, 2012
11:47 pm

Bill Curry and Company, are you all taking notes???!!! Ron Hunter and Company are making every team EAT CROW

gsu01

January 4th, 2012
11:52 pm

Can we drop the weak schedule nonsense and get some respect now?

English

January 4th, 2012
11:57 pm

Great result GSU! Loved watching it. We still have a lot of things to work on but we’ve got a lot of sold characteristics that make us tough to beat. VCU is a very good program and have been good since Coach Capel was there. They have years of quality talent on their roster and to come away with a victory is very sweet.

Go State!

GSUUSSOCCER

January 4th, 2012
11:58 pm

@Biff

Hunter is no flash in the pan, and I really hope the Hunter can schedule GT & UGA next year.

Law Panther

January 4th, 2012
11:58 pm

Biff, Coach Hunter’s 13 winning seasons in 17 years at IUPUI thoroughly debunk the “one year wonder” myth. His only three losing teams came during IUPUI’s first three years as a Division 1 program (after jumping from the NAIA).

Jay Bilas

January 4th, 2012
11:58 pm

Win at Mason, then we’ll talk. Win in February and March, then we’ll talk. Win the CAA, then we’ll talk. Win an NCAA tournament game, then we’ll talk. GSU didn’t make it to the Sweet 16? Typical.

#beatMason

slimseville

January 4th, 2012
11:59 pm

@acm: I was thinking the same thing while watching the game tonight. I’m sure some larger programs are taking notice. Would hate to see that happen though.

English

January 5th, 2012
12:00 am

@ GSU01 – The short answer – No. But IMO – the weak schedule has made our team what they are, ready and confident. Big programs schedule weak opponents all the time. I’m almost convinces we should schedule weak opponents every year and get our legs under us and win 10-13 games before conference play starts and then take it from there. How can you turn down a team that has 20+ wins every year from a post season tournament? Syracuse knows a thing or two about scheduling weak OOC competition and look how successful they are. Ok, trolls, I’m not comparing us to GSU in the sense of success but in the sense of our schedules.

English

January 5th, 2012
12:03 am

Ok, I made an error there. “I’m not comparing us to [Syracuse] in the sense of their success but in the sense of our schedules.”

Fixed it.

GStateBen

January 5th, 2012
12:11 am

Great win. Defied every fans expectations. Could we be 17-3 headed to Drexel?

Biff Pocoroba

January 5th, 2012
12:21 am

I meant that the VCU coach is a one year wonder. He went to the final 4 and got a big contract just like Paul Hewitt. Hewitt never won big again and VCU might not either.

hammer22

January 5th, 2012
12:31 am

PantherTalk.com

January 5th, 2012
12:31 am

Doug, before the game CRH said he planned to tighten the bench even more now that we are in CAA play. He said he would play 7 with the 8th man getting 8 or 9 minutes. Looks like Richardson is the odd man out after starting several games. Kimbro and Vincent seem to be 6 and 7.

What a great night to be a Panther!

VCURAM

January 5th, 2012
12:32 am

VCU ALUM HERE, you all played well tonight and we were off offensively. Don’t get too ahead of yourselves though, the CAA still runs through RICHMOND! We probably played our worst offensive game of the year, and you only won by 2…

GSUUSSOCCER

January 5th, 2012
12:42 am

@VCURAM

Great game indeed, but I would also like to point out that we played one of our worst offensive games of the year and won by 2. There are two sides to every story. See ya later in the month!

@JayBilas

I guess the only time we can actually talk is if we win the NCAA Tournament? Oh well, at least we know what we are up against and will continue to hear this as GSU fans all season.

BariBlue

January 5th, 2012
12:54 am

@VCU Ram—- Valid points, but don’t overlook that we led yal the entire game. Our offense was off as well. Great game anyway and I hope to see some rowdy VCU fans at the Sports Arena next month.

PiAlpha92

January 5th, 2012
12:58 am

Tech fans need to lose the Hewitt Hate. It’s getting old and they are starting to use it as an excuse for their current coach and team. GSU was worse than GT last year but look what a new coaching staff brings. GSU made a great hire and he brought in a solid staff. GT fans worry about your current problems and stop living in the past. BTW, you guys keep talking about Hewitt’s contract but he made more money by investing in Atlantic Station. So since you hate him so much don’t buy anything in AS.

Go Panthers!

itsmeagain

January 5th, 2012
1:51 am

You know whats sad about this? Kids still arent showing up at the Sports Arena. It’s time i start yelling at them

EKY Panther

January 5th, 2012
2:26 am

Simply a great win and a very good season so far. Exciting to see this level of success so early in Hunter’s tenure. Why look for the negatives? Given GSU’s location and academics, this should have happened years ago. Let’s enjoy this! The future has never looked better, even in the Lefty years.

qb/db

January 5th, 2012
3:53 am

This guy is doing the best job of ANY College Coach in the State. I have to give him his props, Ga. State basketball didn’t exist to students or people in the metro ATL. Maybe her should be coaching at GT or UGA.

GSU1970

January 5th, 2012
5:01 am

About time GSU got some attention for winning, not just for having Lefty Drisell as coach!

jtaylor27

January 5th, 2012
6:42 am

I love GSU basketball. I certainly hope that CRH can keep it up, but I’ve always been of the opinion that GSU should try to focus on basketball–not football. I love the football team as well, but that is such a harder proposition in the short term compared to basketball. Anyway, keep it up Coach Hunter!

lanier

January 5th, 2012
6:45 am

its been too long since Atlanta had a good college team. looks like we got one now

Joe

January 5th, 2012
7:02 am

For anyone who dismisses the value of coaching on any level, in any sport, I submit to you the 2011-12 Panthers. I have no idea who this guy is or where he came from, but this is incredible.

Keep it up!!

January 5th, 2012
7:55 am

Coment from VCU RAMS basketball fans Live action at http://vcuathletics.com/sports/mbkb/2010-11/releases/CoverItLive

Chris K:
at 1:05 remained to play in 1 quarter with GSU leading 25-23
Georgia State really flying around on defense. These guys really want this one

Chris K:
28-25 Georgia State at the break

Chris K:
46-39 Georgia State, 7:10 remaining

Comment From EK
Can VCU pull this out after playing like crap for 2/3rds of the game?

Chris K:
Rams having one of the worst shooting nights I can remember

Chris K:
Rams are 12-of-48 from the field, 3-of-20 this half

Chris K:
2-of-16 from 3-point range

Comment From EK
Doesn’t look good for the Rams

Chris K:
Georgia State timeout, 4:34 left. 48-44 Panthers

Chris K:
Fields to the line. Misses the front end

Comment From EK at 3 minutes remaining in 2nd half
They are done….good night

Chris K:
2:14 left. Rams officially in dire straights

Chris K:
White got both. 53-44.

Comment From mshell
Sad…so sad

Chris K:
..and the panthers throw it away

Chris K:
Micheaux bump and hits a crazy bank shot

Chris K:
gh

Chris K:
Rams can’t get and early look and Smart calls a timeout. 55-50, 38.3 left

Chris K:
Rams need to foul and Theus gets White wit 24.2 left

Chris K:
White misses the first!

Chris K:
24.2 left, timeout, VCU

Chris K:
Daniels three short, Reddic rebound…passes to Theus who pumps, dribbles and can’t get off in timeu

Chris K:
Rams lose 55-53

Honest Ingine

January 5th, 2012
7:58 am

How bout them Panthers!!! Time to make a visit to GA STATE and see some games…..

STATEment

January 5th, 2012
8:49 am

I haven’t been as excited as I was last night in a long time! Great win! Let’s hope we don’t have a let down at Mason, but at worst 2 out of 3 vs. the top 3 teams in the CAA is extremely solid.

STUDENTS AND ALUMNI COME OUT TO THE GAMES AND SUPPORT THIS TEAM!!!!!! NO EXCUSES ANY MORE!

GSUAlumBaseball81

January 5th, 2012
8:51 am

GO GSU PANTHERS!!! Keep up the great work! One heck of a defensive team and they could have easily blown VCU off the court had we shot the ball better. See ya VCUers in the ATL later in the sesaon at the GSU Sports arena. Come on downtown for your second beatdown! Ciao

GSU

January 5th, 2012
8:56 am

FIRE CURRY!!!

Tony

January 5th, 2012
9:47 am

GSU — no need to fire Curry. Just appoint Hunter to head football coach, too.

keeps it real

January 5th, 2012
9:55 am

This will either be Hunter’s first and last year at GSU or he’ll be there for at least 4 more years. If his son has not already signed a letter-of-intent then it’s quite conceivable that he can bail after this season and his son can follow him wherever he goes. If his son has already signed, GSU will be safe for the next four years.

Theo

January 5th, 2012
9:56 am

@VCURAM- Bruiser Flint said the same thing after we beat them. I think we will hear this all year and I imagine we won’t get the credit we deserve but it is no coincidence that teams are playing their worst offensive basketball against the Panthers. Our Denfense is pretty good. We have something to do with opponents playing bad offensive basketball.

gsu01

January 5th, 2012
10:01 am

@keeps it real – RJ Hunter has already signed with GSU.

Rip

January 5th, 2012
10:04 am

We have had even better talent come thru Georgia State but Rod Barnes just killed the program and wasted some serious talent. He was really a very bad hired and I did not agreed with the choice. I am so glad that the AD fired him. Now we can get more of the great talent in the State of Georgia

Hurt Kurbstreit

January 5th, 2012
10:09 am

As a UGA fan, I’d say that Hunter is the best coach in the state. Very impressive what he is doing. There is a wealth of talent in the area to choose from. He might just make GSU into a BB power.

Alum

January 5th, 2012
10:12 am

Unbelievable game congratulations Panthers!! I knew each of you were winners when you arrived at State and you are simply proving me right time and time again. I hope you can continue to play hard and succeed on the court but win or lose I am very proud of your effort. Given how you endured all the losing seasons and still never gave up on the program you guys deserve this for your senior year and I could not be happier for you!!
GO PANTHERS!!

Panthersville.com

January 5th, 2012
11:00 am

Great win for the program – even got a mention on 680 this morning…baby steps!

Dr. Phil

January 5th, 2012
11:00 am

Lefty was a con man whose success was based on players kicked off of other teams. Hunter is the real thing, and I hope that GSU can keep him.

GSU_Tang

January 5th, 2012
11:08 am

Great Win, Panthers! So proud of you! Love to see a win, though we all know that we have a lot of things to work on. Learn and grow up by winning. That’s awesome. We are winners, Panthers. Keep it up and on ti GMU.