JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — R.J. Hunter hits a clutch 3 pointer to seal the 57 -56 upset over Baylor. The bears were in control all game but could not finish.
#3 seeded Baylor jumped out to a 16-6 lead before Georgia Sate called a much needed time out. The Panthers used strong defense and a Ryann Green three pointer to claw their way to a 19-19 tie. Baylor’s Taurean Prince went to work scoring 10 points to close the half up 33-30.
The Panthers first lead of the game came off a Markus Cride jumper with 13:20 left in the game. The Bears got back focus and looked to be closing the game out when they were up by 52-42. No one was ready for what happened next. R.J. Hunter became unstoppable scoring 12 points to stay alive for another day.
Coaches opening statement…
COACH SCOTT DREW: Well, I think I’ve been a part of one of the best moments in college basketball in the NCAA Tournament with my brother hitting that shot and I think I’ve been part of one of the worst that I’ll remember, R.J. hitting that shot. The thing I’ve been disappointed with is all year long we’ve executed down the stretch. We’ve been a tough team and I feel bad the way that the last five minutes went from the standpoint, 21 turnovers for us all game. That’s not who we are, and yet I know that’s what will be dwelt upon and talked about is how we didn’t finish the game, and that’s on me as a coach.
COACH RON HUNTER: I’m going to start off by saying this: First of all, it was a great game. But I’m not going to be coach, I’m going to be dad right now. Proud as hell of this guy. This is my son. Proud of him, so I wanted to say that. I haven’t been able to do that for three years so I wanted to say I’m proud of him. Now to the game. These kids are so resilient, really resilient. It’s been like this all year. We kind of laugh because nothing has been given to us. It’s been hard everything we’ve done this year. We played without 20 points in our lineup of course with Ryan Harrow, and this is like the tenth time we’ve played without Ryan and we’ve won all of them. This group is just unbelievable. We never gave up. I think we got down five and were in a time-out and just can you it was kind of unsettled, and we just talked out hang in there, believe. I said yesterday if you got to the five-minute mark and we were within a couple possessions, we would win the game. We would win the game. And so the kids believed, and my offspring here hit an unbelievable shot. I thought the way he finished the game was terrific.
Georgia State 57, Baylor 56