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Baylor vs. Georgia State-Round of 64

Imagine a dream scenario for a father-son basketball tandem and it might sound something like this. Father/head coach IMG_6448on the sidelines, mom in the stands and both watching their son/future NBA draft pick guard, after struggling the majority of the game, hitting a game winning shot in a hugely important game which also just happens to be his last. Now go back and re-watch the Georgia State vs. Baylor round of 64 match and watch that dream become a reality with Junior guard RJ Hunter, head coach Ron Hunter and mom/wife Amy Hunter. Hollywood and March Madness are the only two places where these magical things tend to happen. Number 3 seed Baylor controlled much of the first half against number 14 seed Georgia State leading 16-6 until about with 9 minutes to go, Georgia State decided to fight back and by halftime had cut the lead down to 3 even without much help from star Junior guard RJ Hunter, who was 1-4 with only 2 points. In a game that saw both teams struggle to put points on the board and looked more like a football score early in the second half, both teams fought extremely hard. With Georgia States number one option struggling to score the team relied on their defensive intensity to keep them in the game. That intensity was partly instilled into this team by the resilient Louisville transfer Kevin Ware, you may remember that name. IMG_6580With 2:39 left to play in the second half though Baylor seemed to have the game in control. That’s when the Hollywood script started to kick in. Even after going 1-8 and scoring only 6 points up to that point a real shooter never loses confidence and Hunter started to get into a groove. After hitting the first of two three’s and than stealing the ball for a smooth layup that brought Baylors lead down to 56-53 with 1:07 left to go, you could almost hear the redemption music start to play. After what seemed to be a shift in the way Baylor played, a made free throw by Hunter and a missed free throw on the frontside of a 1 and 1 attempt by Bears Senior guard Kenny Chery momentum was definitely on Georgia State’s side. “I think we were tentative” said Chery. “We just let them come after us instead of coming after them.” Right after Chery missed that free throw, the stage was set for the storybook ending. Junior forward T.J. Shipes grabbed the rebound off of the miss and passed it off to Ware. Ware looked back and passed it to Hunter. Hunter dribbled in the middle of the court with 9 seconds left, went right and picked up his dribble and things looked bleak. He passed it off to Shipes, who than passed it right back and Hunter went up from way beyond the three point line to splash it through the nylon leaving Baylor with 2.6 seconds left for a IMG_6624desperation half court heave which hit off the backboard and just like that the NCAA tournament had its first “One Shining Moment” moment. When asked about seeing the shot go up Shipes had this to say “I’ve seen him hit that specific shot, and just, R.J. being the shooter he is , I had a good feeling. At the end of the game, I mean, he’s a shooter…I knew it was good. Hunter finished with 16 but none bigger than that long three. Baylor got 18 points and 15 rebounds respectively from reserve Junior forward Taurean Prince, who was the only Baylor player to score in double digits. Georgia State will go on to face Xavier Saturday in the round of 32.

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