Something about Old Dominion just brings out the best in Panther scorers. Last year, it was RJ Hunter dropping 38 on the Monarchs, and this year, it was Ryan Harrow pouring in 33 in a 79-73 victory for Georgia State.
The two games are almost statistical opposites, but both contain similarities as well. Hunter played 37 minutes, missed six shots and one free throw. Harrow played 37 minutes, missed five shots and one free throw, but that is where the similarities end.
Hunter, the definition of a shooter, was 10-15 from the three point line, while Harrow was just 1-2 from deep. Hunter was 12-18 shooting while Harrow was 9-14. Hunter went 4-5 from the free throw line, while Harrow went 14-15.
The landscape has even changed. Last year, ODU was in the midst of a nine-game losing streak and fell to 2-19 on the season, while GSU improved to 12-12 on the year. GSU and ODU are both now 4-6 and having mixed results so far in the early going. Not to mention, both schools are now in different conferences (ODU in C-USA and GSU in the SBC), after playing last year as members of the CAA.
Harrow, putting forth his second 30+ point night of the season, is flourishing since his move to the 2-spot a few games ago. Head Coach Ron Hunter moved three year starting point guard Devonta White back to the spot and has seen positive results from his struggling team. White, who struggled mightily adjusting to the off the ball guard spot, had 13 points, six assists and three steals and did not turn the ball over in his 35 minutes.
“Slowly, but surely we’re getting there,” said Coach Hunter after the game.
Manny Atkins added another solid 15 points and six rebounds, while Hunter chipped in 11 points and a rebound. This is the closest the Panthers have come to a complete game, but still Coach Hunter thinks the team can do better.
“We still haven’t got it where all the guys have clicked at one time, we are still waiting for that explosion,” he added.
The Panthers shot 46% from the floor while the Monarchs shot 51%. The Monarchs also outrebounded the Panthers 31-23, but a lot of that can be attributed to Curtis Washington playing five minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.
Aaron Bacote lead the way for ODU scoring 21, followed by Dmitri Batten with 15 and Keenan Palmore with 14.
The Panthers return to action Friday December 20th, as their rivals from Georgia Southern (5-5) come to Atlanta for a 7 p.m. tip. Southern has two games with UAB and Kennesaw State before the game in Atlanta, so the Panthers should be well rested when the Eagles come to town.