Panthers snap losing streak at home

Devonta White Guard

The Georgia State Panthers ended their four-game losing streak defeating Young Harris College 71-54 at home.

The Panthers returned home after a month-long road trip that included stops in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Elon, N.C. and Miami.

“It was refreshing, something we needed to be back home. We have been on the road for a while,” senior point guard Devonta White said.

This was the first meeting between the two schools, and Georgia State was prepared holding Young Harris’ leading scorer, Herdie Lawrence, to just nine points, 19 percent from the floor.

Lawrence came into the game averaging 17.8 points per game.

Panthers Head Coach Ron Hunter said his defense had made improvement as they held a team averaging 94.7 points to their second lowest total of the season.

“We have not practiced [offense] since we got back. My whole focus was on defense. I could care less about what the offense looked like. We had a goal that they could not shoot over 40 percent from the floor and we had to hold them under 60 [points],” Hunter said.

The Panthers accomplished both goals against Young Harris as the Mountain Lions only shot 33 percent.

The story of the night was White as he scored 16 points and was the primary ball handler.

Hunter said Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter are “banged up.” Hunter would not say what their injuries are, but said they should be healthy soon.

“The most important thing tonight was getting Devonta White going.” Hunter said.

During the four-game losing streak, White averaged 3.5 points per game and 2.8 assists per game.

Coach Hunter said he believes to never give up on any player that is struggling.

“One thing I’ve said to people close to me is I am really loyal to my seniors and part of my job is to help get them out of that,” Hunter said.

“One thing we have decided to do is to put the ball in Devonta [White’s] hands 90 percent of the time for the rest of the year,” Hunter said.

Wednesday night, White looked more aggressive as he took his coaches words and put it into action.

“Confidence and coach told me never to settle, to not just shoot jump shots but, rather, use my penetrating ability to make things happen,” White said.

Junior Curtis Washington added 17 points and had an impact on defense recording six blocks. Washington’s points tied his career record for points in a game.

The Panthers go back on the road Saturday to take on Southern Mississippi before a two-game home stand that includes Old Dominion and Georgia Southern.