R.J. Hunter became Georgia State’s all-time scoring leader midway through the first half and the Panthers defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 75-64 on Saturday at GSU Sports Arena.
Ryan Harrow led Georgia State with 19 points, but Hunter, who finished with 13 points, was the story.
He entered Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette tied with Rodney Hamilton for the school record at 1,515 points.
On a short bank shot with less than 9:44 left in the first half, Hunter moved atop the list.
Hunter needed just 2 3/4 seasons to take over the lead after averaging 17 points per game as a freshman, 18.3 as a sophomore and 20.2 this season.
Hunter was honored before the game for tying the record. Hamilton attended the game was included in the ceremony.
Hunter’s historic shot was part of a 9-0 run that turned a three-point Panthers lead into a 12-point lead.
With a seeming renewed commitment to communication on defense, Georgia State’s zone defenses smothered the Cajuns throughout. Louisiana-Lafayette shot just 25 percent. The higher-percentage inside shots refused to drop as the Panthers collapsed to the basket time after time to harass Shawn Long and Louisiana-Lafayette’s other inside players for the game’s first 30 minutes.
Unlike in most of Georgia State’s previous games, there were few holes in the zone outside for open 3-point shots, either.
With few easy options available, the Panthers answered every run the Cajuns tried to make.
Things began to change in the game’s last 10 minutes as Georgia State’s defense, particularly in the free-throw lane, began to disintegrate.
Louisiana-Lafayette, which was playing its fourth game in seven days, cut Georgia State’s lead to 13 early in the second half. Kevin Ware hit a layup and Markus Crider dunked on an assist by Hunter to push the lead back to 17.
The Cajuns fought to cut Georgia State’s lead to nine on two free throws by Long with 2:13 left. But the Cajuns lost track of Ware on the inbounds and he hit the easy layup for an 11-point lead.
Louisiana-Lafayette couldn’t get closer than a nine-point margin.
Georgia State (13-7, 6-3 Sun Belt) will play at Texas-Arlington on Thursday.
Here’s where Hunter stood in various school records before Saturday’s game:
t-1. Hunter and Rodney Hamilton, 1.515
Field goals made
5. Hunter, 470. He’s 118 behind leader Chavelo Holmes.
Field goal attempts
5. Hunter, 1090. He’s 229 behind Hamilton, the leader.
Free throws made
2. Hunter, 358. He’s three behind leader Phillip Luckydo.
Free throws attempts
8. Hunter, 430. He’s 101 behind leader Terrence Brandon.
Free throw percentage
2. Hunter, .833. He’s .05 behind Hamilton.
3-point field goals
2. Hunter, 217. He’s 23 behind Shellord Pinkett
2. Hunter. He’s 34 behind leader Pinkett.
5. Hunter, 150. He’s 62 behind Hamilton, the leader.
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