Hunter sets new scoring record in victory over Cajuns

R.J. Hunter made Georgia State history by becoming the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer with his first made basket of the Panthers’ game against Louisiana-Lafayette. The team also earned a 75-64 victory over the Cajuns to increase their record to 13-7 and the team’s conference mark to 6-3.

“It just got a monkey off my back,” Hunter said. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about [the record].”

First Half

The game began with Louisiana-Lafayette junior forward Shawn Long and Georgia State’s Ryan Harrow trading three-pointers. Another Cajuns’ junior forward, Devonta Walker made a free throw after an early foul against Ryann Green, but Harrow’s fourth and fifth points gave the Panthers an early 5-4 lead.

After the game’s first media timeout, Kevin Ware was fouled by Cajuns sophomore guard Jay Wright. Ware then made one free throw placing Georgia State ahead 6-4.

Long then tipped in a shot to tie the game at six, but the Panthers embarked on a 6-0 run that included two points each from Harrow, Markus Crider and T.J. Shipes going ahead by a score of 12-6. Georgia State also played lockdown defense early as they forced six UL-Lafayette turnovers.

With the score at 13-7 in the Panthers’ favor, Cajuns junior guard Steve Wronkoski made a three bringing Louisiana-Lafayette within three at 13-10. As the half neared the midway point, T.J. Shipes threw down a slam dunk extending the Georgia State lead back to 15-10.

History was made at the Sports Arena with 9:44 left to play in the first half, when R.J. Hunter put in his first made shot of the game. It broke Rodney Hamilton’s previous mark of 1,515 points giving him 1,517 for his Georgia State career–and the Panthers a 17-10 lead. Jalen Brown then followed up with his first made three-pointer as the Panther advantage became 20-10.

With the score at 22-12, senior forward Brian Williams added one made free throw after being fouled by Kevin Ware with just over five minutes to play in the half.

Senior Louisiana-Lafayette center J.J. Davenport then fouled Curtis Washington with 4:20 to play. Washington made both of his free throws placing Georgia State ahead by a score of 24-13. The Panthers’ lead then became 12 after a made free throw by Brown after another foul assessed against Davenport.

At the 1:26 mark in the first half, the scoreboard read 27-15 with the Panthers leading. Wronkoski then made a layup and free throw after a foul against Washington. A layup by Ware and a three-pointer by Harrow gave Georgia State a 32-18 lead going into the half.

Second Half

Georgia State opened the second half scoring the first five points as Green made a three and Crider placed in a layup to extend their lead to 37-18.

The score became 39-20 in Georgia State prior to a fastbreak layup by Walker. Three consecutive points by Shipes and a Green layup extended the Panthers lead to 44-22.
Louisiana-Lafayette then cut its deficit to 17 at 44-29 with under thirteen minutes to play with a 7-0.

Hunter increased his point total to four making the Georgia State lead 17 again at 46-29, but Washington was assessed a foul against Williams on what Washington thought was a clean block. Williams then made one of two from the line bringing the Cajuns within sixteen at 46-30.

A three from Wright with 12:15 to play cut the UL-Lafayette deficit down to 13 at 46-33 before Ware quickly responded with a layup placing the Panthers ahead by a tally of 48-33. The Panthers also got a dunk from Crider and a layup by Harrow increasing the lead back to 19 again at 52-33.

Georgia State then assumed a 54-35 lead after a dunk from Hunter, accounting for his fifth and sixth points of the game.

The Panthers then went ahead by a score of 56-37 before two-pointers by Cajuns freshman forward Bryce Washington and junior guard Kasey Shepherd got UL-Lafayette within fifteen with the score reading 56-41.

Ware’s eighth and ninth points extended the Georgia State advantage to 58-41, but Williams’ first three of the game made it a 58-44 game.

The Panthers maintained their fourteen-point lead at 60-46 and with an advantage of 62-48 with under four minutes to play. Long then made four consecutive points cutting the gap to 10 at 62-52. Louisiana-Lafayette also began full-court pressing the Panthers on defense.

Georgia State increased their lead to 11 at 63-52 after a made free throw by Hunter. The Panthers maintained their 11-point advantage with leads of 65-54, 67-56, 69-58, and 71-60.

After two made free throws by Wright off a foul charged to Hunter, Brown was fouled by Cajuns freshman guard Johnathan Stove. Brown then made both of his free throws as Louisiana-Lafayette began fouling with less than a minute to play placing the Panthers ahead by a score of 73-62.

Georgia State maintained its eleven-point lead at 75-64 as time expired.

The Panthers return to the hardwood on Thursday on the road to face UT-Arlington at 8:15 p.m.

Georgia State stats

Harrow: 19 points
Hunter: 13 points, 7-8 FTs

UL-Lafayette stats

Long: 21 points, 6-14 shooting
Wright: 14 points, 4-10 shooting

About Akiem Bailum 285 Articles
Akiem Bailum - Sports Editor Fall 2014 - Spring 2015. Journalism major with a concentration in telecommunications. Class of 2015. Before becoming sports editor at The Signal, Akiem began his writing career at Georgia State in 2012. After a brief absence, he returned to The Signal in 2014. Akiem has covered Georgia State sports events on site for football, volleyball, basketball and softball games. His advice for future sports writers is to cover more than major sports and to attend as many events in person as possible. When away from the court or the field, Akiem's interests include studying the radio industry.

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