Hunter’s career day helps Panthers cruise

Sunday was a record-setting day for the Georgia State men’s basketball team. R.J. Hunter exploded for a career-high 41 points as the Panthers won their third straight game, 99-68 over Texas-San Antonio. Hunter, a sophomore guard, hit a school-record 12 3-pointers and scored the program’s most points since Hunter himself picked up 38 and a then-program record 10 3-pointers against Old Dominion in February.

Manny Atkins had 20 points and Ryan Harrow added 19 for Georgia State (6-6), which made 19-of-32 3-pointers in winning its first true road game of the season. Devonta White set a new career-high with 11 assists, breaking his personal-best of 10 he handed out Friday against Georgia Southern.

If not for Hunter’s exploits, Jordan Sims and James Williams would’ve been the three-point standouts for the Roadrunners (3-8), who had won three straight games against teams from the Sun Belt. Sims hit 5-of-13 from three-point range for 17 points and Williams came off the bench to knock down 5-of-8 for 16 points.

Hunter is the first Panther to score 40 or more in a game since Thomas Terrell collected 42 against Jacksonville in January, 2001, according to georgiastatesports.com.

A look at other local games of interest from Sunday…

Indiana 90, Kennesaw State 66

Yogi Ferrell had 25 points and the Hoosiers shot 62 percent from the field in an easy home win.

Indiana (10-3) led 43-25 at halftime, then improved its shooting with a 65 percent (15-of-23) second half, thanks to Ferrell, who hit 8-of-12 shots and handed out five assists. Will Sheehey also added 15 points and Noah Vonleh, 14.

Orlando Coleman had 18 points and nine rebounds for KSU (3-10), which dropped its fifth consecutive game.

Mercer 79, Mississippi 76

Langston Hall hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to lift the Bears to their third consecutive victory.

Hall (17 points) hit two free throws with 17 seconds left to put Mercer (8-4) up 76-73, but Marshall Henderson, who scored 18 points but struggled shooting (5-for-16 from the field), drained a tying 3-pointer four seconds later.

Ike Nwamu had a game-high 24 points off the bench for Mercer, while Jarvis Summers had 21 points for the Rebels.

Mercer, a top-25 team nationally in scoring, won for the third consecutive time against teams from the SEC.

Auburn 77, Boston College 67

KT Harrell and Olivier Hanlan went toe-to-toe, but Harrell picked up one more point and the Tigers secured a home win.

Harrell scored a career-high 29 points, including six 3-pointers, part of a 10-for-22 performance from behind the arc for Auburn.

Hanlan, who had a team-high 28 points, hit a pair of free throws with 3:31 left in the first half that got Boston College to within 28-24. But the Eagles went the next five minutes without a point and Auburn took control with a 16-0 run, highlighted by five points and an assist each from Harrell and Tahj Shamsid-Deen.

Florida Gulf Coast 77, Florida A&M 68

At the Las Vegas Classic, Brett Comer had 18 of his 24 points in the second half as the host Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak.

Gulf Coast (6-6) trailed by as much as 11 points at 50-39 with 12:59 to play in the game. But though Rockdale graduate Bernard Thompson played just three minutes in the opening half and was held scoreless, he had eight points in the second half, including a tip-in with 6:17 to play, giving the Eagles the lead for good.

The hosts shot 57 percent from the field and held A&M (2-10) to just 10 made field goals in the second half in Jamie Adams led the Rattlers with 21 points.

Central Florida 90, Valparaiso 62

The Golden Knights had a 21-5 spurt to close the first half and cruised in the title game of the Jackson Hewitt UCF Holiday Classic.

Tristan Spurlock has 22 points and Brandon Goodwin (12 points) and Eugene McCrory (11 points) each came off the bench to help UCF (8-3) win its fifth consecutive game.

UCF also evened the season series against the Crusaders, who held Spurlock to 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting and won 85-70 November 26.

Valparaiso, one of the top scoring teams in the nation, had just 20 points at halftime and had a second-half deficit that reached as high as 33 points.

Miami (Florida) 71, La Salle 58

The Hurricanes had lost their last two home games by a combined six points, but bounced back, thanks to 17 points from Rion Brown.

Miami (7-5), which avoided its first three-game losing streak at home since January-February, 2007, also got 13 points from Garrius Adams and held the visiting Explorers to just 38 percent shooting.

La Salle (6-5) was led by Tyreek Duren, who had a game-high 18 points.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee 67, Alabama State 57

Kyle Kelm had 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Panthers won the consolation game of the Westin Holiday Classic in New Orleans.

Austin Arians added 17 points for Milwaukee (10-4), which won its ninth consecutive game against teams from the SWAC.

Alabama State (4-5), which was led by Jamel Waters’ 14 points and 10 assists, got to within 58-50 on a jumper by Maurice Strong with 6:42 left, but the visitors didn’t have another made field goal the rest of the way.

Elon 67, Florida Atlantic 62

Jack Isenbarger scored 18 points and Sebastian Koch added 14 to lead Elon over the host Owls for the second consecutive season. Elon (7-6), which came into the week as a top-65 scoring offense nationally, hit only 38 percent of their field goal attempts, but were 8-of-20 on 3-pointers to add to a 62-59 overtime win over Florida Atlantic in 2012.

Florida Atlantic (3-10), which was led by Pablo Bertone’s 17 points, fell to 0-4 against the Southern Conference since becoming a Division 1 team in 1993.