Georgia State made sure there was no overtime drama in the GSU Sports Arena Monday night, overwhelming conference cellar dweller South Alabama 85-65. Making up a game from last Thursday, when a snowstorm shut down Atlanta, the Panthers’ now 13-game win streak was never in jeopardy as they leapt out to a 41-25 first half lead. “It was such an emotional win on Saturday that we wanted to make sure we left that behind us,” said Coach Ron Hunter. “And for the most part, outside of maybe six minutes in this game, I felt that we played business-like. And that was really important.” GSU (16-6) is now 9-0 in the Sun Belt, while South Alabama (7-15) fell to 1-8.
The Panthers shot a precise 63 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from 3-point range. Antoine Allen was the leading scorer for the Jaguars with 19, and the team shot 48.1 percent overall. GSU also outrebounded South Alabama 24 to 21, which was a complete reverse from the last time these two teams met. In the Panthers’ Jan. 4 win over the Jaguars they were outrebounded 41 to 28. Manny Atkins and Ryan Harrow fueled GSU’s quick start, finishing with 20 apiece, and soon R.J. Hunter found his stroke to help put the game away. Hunter finished with a game high 24 points and shot 5-6 from beyond the arc. Atkins wasn’t pleased with his performance Saturday against UT Arlington despite the win, and while others were celebrating he spent the rest of the evening shooting in the gym. “I was just trying to get my timing right. I’m not going to lie coming into that game I had an injury, and it threw my timing off a little bit,” Atkins said of his late Saturday night practice. His efforts were not in vain as he finished 8-13 from the field and 2-4 from three. Coach Hunter feels that the team is finally reaching their full potential and is close to reaching the peak he and his players have been striving for all season. “We’re really getting there. I really saw it,” Coach Hunter said. “It’s been about four or five days now that I’ve started to say you know what, we’re getting to the point where we can win all kind of ways.” GSU continues Sun Belt action on Thursday at 8 p.m. in Little Rock, Ark. when they matchup against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (12-10, 7-3), a team they defeated 99-73 Jan. 18.