R.J. Hunter with 35 points leads Georgia State to 72-55 win over Georgia Southern

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ATLANTA — R.J. Hunter scored 35 points to lead Georgia State to a 72-55 win over Georgia Southern Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

Curtis Washington added 12 points and five rebounds for the Panthers (22-9, 15-5) who finish No. 1 in the Sun Belt and will play their first championship game on March 14 in New Orleans.

Georgia State went up 16-7 to start and led 32-21 at the break. Jelani Hewitt and Curtis Diamond sank back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half to help Georgia Southern close the gap to four points, 38-34, with 15:30 to play. But the Panthers followed with a 14-7 surge — highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Hunter — to stretch their lead to 52-41 with 10:10 remaining and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Hewitt led the Eagles (21-8, 14-6) with 17 points and five assists.

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