MONROE, La.-Led by a season-high 31 points from Ryan Harrow, Georgia State overcame a nine-point second half deficit to earn a 58-50 win over UL Monroe on Thursday night at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum. With the win, the Panthers secured a double-bye into the semifinals of next week’s Sun Belt Conference championship.
Georgia State will enter the regular season finale on Saturday at 2 p.m with Georgia Southern tied with the Eagles for first-place. The winner will earn the league’s regular season title, No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and automatic bid to the Postseason NIT tournament. It was announced earlier Thursday that the game is already sold out.
Harrow finished 11-of-20 from the floor and knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers.
Junior R.J. Hunter was held to just nine points, but dished out a career-high nine assists and pulled down six rebounds. Senior Curtis Washington was equally impressive, scoring nine points and pulling down seven rebounds.
Georgia State (21-9, 14-5 Sun Belt) won for the sixth time in its last seven games and swept the season-series with UL Monroe which fell to 19-11, 13-6 in the Sun Belt. The Panthers are 43-12 in their last 55 games dating back to last season and own a 31-6 mark in conference games since returning to the Sun Belt.
UL Monroe was led by DeMondre Harvey who finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Warhawks outrebounded the Panthers 44-31.
“I am so proud of this team,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “It is really tough to win on the road and even though we lost an early lead, we stayed within ourselves and took advantages of the opportunities that were given to us. Ryan Harrow and Isaiah Dennis really stepped up big tonight. This is a great win for our team and our program.”
Dennis pulled down four rebounds and recorded a key blocked shot in the final minutes of the game.
Georgia State opened the game by scoring the first 13 points, holding the Warhawks without a basketball until 14:55 to play in the opening half. UL Monroe quickly responded with a 14-0 run of its own to take the lead with 10:42 to play, holding the Panthers scoreless for nearly five minutes.
Hunter’s first 3-pointer, 20 seconds into the game tied him with Shellord Pinkett for the most 3-pointers in school history with 240.
Holding a 23-9 lead on the boards, UL Monroe went into the locker room leading the Panthers 29-26.
Trailing 39-30 with 14:55 to play, Harrow went on a 10-0 run by himself, which was extended to a 13-0 team run on a Hunter 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 46-41 lead with 8:05 remaining. The 3-pointer gave Hunter Georgia State’s career 3-point record.
Harrow hit another 3-pointer and after a pair of free throws by T.J. Shipes, Georgia State pushed its lead to 51-45 with just over six minutes to play.
A Washington dunk with 3:33 to play gave the Panthers an eight-point lead and caused ULM to use its third timeout. The Warhawks never got closer than five points again.
Nick Coppola and Justin Robinson each scored 11 points for the Warhawks.
With the win, Ryann Green was a part of the 83rd win his in career, tied with Donnie Davis and Lamont McIntosh for the most in program history.
[cid:image001.jpg@01D05795.75857AD0]MIKE HOLMES | Associate Director Sports Communications | Georgia State University
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