Feb 23, 2014 12:02 AM by UL Sports Information
ATLANTA - Manny Atkins hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining and Georgia State withstood a second-half rally to hold off the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 80-77, in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at GSU Sports Arena.
Ryan Harrow scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as GSU (20-7, 13-1 SBC) erased a 12-point first-half deficit by Louisiana (18-10, 9-6 SBC). Devonta White added 17 points for the Panthers, R.J. Hunter had 14 with Atkins and Markus Crider adding 12 each.
"We played poor to start the second half and got stagnant on offense," head coach Bob Marlin said. "Our team could have folded, but the guys fought back and had a chance to win the game at the end. We had the guys shooting the ball that we wanted to, but Atkins hit a big shot for them at the end."
GSU opened the second half with a 23-3 run after trailing 38-30 at halftime. The Panthers took a 53-41 lead on a dunk by Atkins with 13:19 remaining and maintained their lead with Crider scored on a layup for a 65-53 lead with 7:55 left.
The Cajuns trailed 69-59 with 5:34 remaining in the game before tying the contest at 77-77 when Elfrid Payton made the first of two free throws with 30 seconds remaining in the game before Atkins connected on the eventual game-winner from the left wing.
Shawn Long led Louisiana with 22 points and eight rebounds. Bryant Mbamalu added 19 points for the Cajuns with Payton adding 13 and Xavian Rimmer 10.
Louisiana will return to action on Sunday, March 2 when it plays host to South Alabama in a 3 p.m. contest. The game, the home finale for the Cajuns, will be televised on the Sun Belt Television Network.