Jacksonville got a quick reminder of how wild the NCAA Tournament can get. Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter gave his dad the moment of a lifetime.
Hunter hit a 32-foot three with two seconds left, giving the Panthers a 57-56 win. Fourteen-seed Georgia State (25-8) ended the game on a 13-0 run against 4-seed Baylor (24-10) to stun them and move to the next round.
Baylor had a 56-44 lead with 2:54 left to play. After a pair of GSU free throws, Baylor turned the ball over three consecutive times, leading to 7 points by GSU star R.J. Hunter, who scored 12 of his 16 points during the 13-0 run after struggling most of the game. A wild sequence resulted in a missed dunk by Baylor with 25 seconds left, sending GSU to the line after a foul, down 56-53. Isaiah Dennis hit one out of two. GSU then fouled Baylor quickly and Baylor missed the first half of a one and one.
R.J. Hunter, who is an NBA prospect and the son of GSU coach Ron Hunter, pulled up from 30-plus feet to gain the lead. Baylor would miss a desperation heave, sealing the upset. It was a special feeling for Coach Hunter, even more so than a regular coach would have.
“There are a lot of coaches that get to get to the Elite 32 or the Final Four, but when you get to do it with your son, you can watch your son hit a half court shot, I can’t tell you how I feel inside,” he said. “That’s unbelievable. I wish every dad in America could have that opportunity, what I just experienced with my son. “
Ron Hunter told his team not to worry about the score when they fell down by 12. GSU also overcame a 16-6 deficient to start the game, when they answered with a 13-3 run. The game went back and forth and GSU had a 41-40 lead with 13 minutes left, before scoring once in their next 10 possessions, putting them in the 12-point hole.
“This group is just unbelievable. We never gave up,” said GSU coach, Ron Hunter, “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.”
Baylor, usually sound with the basketball, had 21 turnovers and struggled down the stretch against GSU’s press. Baylor coach Drew Scott took blame for the team lacking aggression down the stretch.
“Yeah, that’s my fault. You’ve got a 12-point lead with three to go, so even though we weren’t scoring, we were taking time off the clock,” he said after the game. ” But I think the biggest thing would have been if you take out the turnovers in the last three minutes, I mean, that would be the difference.”
GSU was led by Hunter’s 16 points and guard Ryann Green added another 11. GSU will play the winner of Ole Miss and Xavier on Saturday.
Watch the Vine of Hunter’s three below.