The Ron Hunter era at Georgia State began with a resounding 90-65 win over Southern Polytechnic (NAIA.)
Even though it doesn't count toward the regular season, and the caliber of opponent does not come anywhere near the teams the Panthers will play on a regular basis during 2011-12, it was still a great opportunity for the Panthers to practice against a live opponent in a game atmosphere after months of in-squad scrimmages.
With 1,125 in attendance, Brandon McGee dropped a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards, Devonta White put up 19, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
Team captains Jihad Ali and James Fields each contributed 12 and 14 points, respectively. But more importantly, the Panthers put together a complete team victory over the Hornets, who were completely outmatched.
While the Panthers will not enjoy a 57-34 advantage in rebounds every night, they finally played better than their less-talented opponent for the first time in years.
Under the previous coaching regime the Panthers seemed to have a tough time not playing down to inferior teams. Tonight the team showed flaws and growing pains, but actually came to play and finished the game.
As nice as it was to win and see a 90 spot on the scoreboard, Oglethorpe comes to town Saturday at 7 p.m. and many things need to be addressed before then, like shooting 7-27 from three and 13-22 from the free throw line. Luckily the team now has game footage to go off of and can see their mistakes against a different jersey.