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Panthers fall in OT, 90-84, to first-place Northeastern

10:36 PM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Playing its final Colonial Athletic Association game, Georgia State fell to CAA regular-season champion Northeastern, 90-84, in overtime Wednesday at the GSU Sports Arena.

Manny Atkins equaled his career high with 26 points and Devonta White scored 24, including his 1000th career point, for the Panthers, who will move to the Sun Belt Conference next season. GSU finished the regular-season at 15-16, just missing a second straight winning season under head coach Ron Hunter.

Northeastern, which had already clinched a share of first place in the CAA and the top seed in the conference tournament, was a perfect 27-for-27 at the free throw line and got a career-high 29 points from Joel Smith, including the clinching three-pointer with 22.5 seconds left in overtime. David Walker added 16 points as the Huskies improved to 19-10 overall, 14-4 in the CAA.

In a back-and-forth second half, Atkins' three-pointer put GSU ahead 70-66 with 2:55 left, but Zach Stahl completed consecutive three-point plays for Northeastern, the second one giving the Huskies a 72-70 lead with 1:35 to play.

White answered with a driving layup to tie the game at 72 but missed the ensuing free throw that would have given GSU the lead. After both teams missed shots, Northeastern had the ball with the clock running down in regulation. Walker tried a three-pointer with about five seconds left that was blocked by R.J. Hunter, and Smith grabbed the loose ball and missed another three-point try. After a scramble for the rebound, the ball went out of bounds to GSU on the side with two seconds left, but Hunter missed a desperation three at the buzzer to force the extra session.

Northeastern scored the first five points of the overtime and held off the Panthers, who pulled within 83-82 on White's jumper with 56 seconds left, but Smith delivered the knockout punch with his trey from the corner with 23 seconds left.

With his first basket of the night, Hunter eclipsed the Georgia State freshman scoring record of 515 points, set by Matt O'Brien in 1989-90. He finished with 13 points to raise his season total to 527.

White, the junior from Alpharetta, Ga., became the 17th 1000-point scorer in Georgia State history.

Georgia State University

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