Harrow, Georgia State finish off Old Dominion

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ATLANTA -- Georgia State's plan was to let guard Ryan Harrow try to take over down the stretch, and Old Dominion knew it.

The Monarchs just couldn't stop it.

Harrow scored 10 of his game-high 33 points over the final 3:59 as the Panthers shot past Old Dominion, 79-73, on Saturday at the Sports Arena.

The Monarchs led, 68-64, when Harrow, a redshirt junior who transferred from Kentucky, jumpstarted Georgia State's comeback with a jumper and two free throws.

After forward Curtis Washington's dunk with 2:47 left gave the Panthers the lead for good, 70-69, Harrow continued breaking down Old Dominion's defense and sealed the decision with six straight free throws.

"That was our plan, to kind of put the ball in Ryan's hands at the end there," Georgia State assistant coach Everick Sullivan said.

This came as no surprise to Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones, who acknowledged after the game his team's defense was focused on slowing Harrow and the Panthers' second-leading scorer, guard R.J. Hunter.

The Monarchs succeeded on one front, as Hunter scored only 12 points, three under his average, and had but two in the second half.

"We did a pretty good job on Hunter," Jones said. "But we never could get a handle on Harrow."

Harrow's point total was one shy of the career-high 34 he scored in a 90-85 loss to Elon on Nov. 26 in the NIT Season Tip-off.

Forward Manny Atkins added 15 points and guard Devonta White 13 for the Panthers (4-6), who notched their first win over a Division I opponent since Nov. 18 against McNeese State.

"We really needed this one," Sullivan said. "We were desperate."

Guard Aaron Bacote led the Old Dominion with 21 points, but he fouled out with 3:54 remaining and his team ahead, 68-66.

Guard Dimitri Batten had 15 points and guard Keenan Palmore added 14 as the Monarchs (4-6) lost their fifth straight while falling to 0-4 in road/neutral site games.

Bacote hit four 3-pointers in the first half, including the first three he attempted, and guard Jordan Baker buried another triple with 58 seconds remaining before intermission to snap a 34-34 tie.

Old Dominion led, 37-35, at halftime, despite committing 13 first-half turnovers that led to 15 Georgia State points. The Monarchs finished the game with 20 turnovers.

Georgia State also came up big at the free throw line, making 32-of-42.

NOTES: When these teams met in the Sports Arena last season, R.J. Hunter, son of head coach Ron Hunter, hit a school-record 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 38 points in a Panthers victory. ... Georgia State has won three straight against the Monarchs, re-directing their fortunes in a series in which Old Dominion had taken 15 of the first 17. ... Both teams are former members of the Colonial Athletic Association in their first seasons in new conferences. Georgia State has returned to the Sun Belt, a league in which it resided from 1976-81, while Old Dominion is debuting in Conference USA.

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