Georgia State wins Sun Belt, first NCAA berth since 2001
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - R.J. Hunter, the coach's son, made two free throws with 21.6 seconds left and Georgia State survived two last-second, 3-point attempts Sunday to beat Georgia Southern 38-36 in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game.
Georgia State (24-9), in its second season in the Sun Belt, will make it third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2001.
Kevin Ware scored 18 points for Georgia State, the only double-figure scorer in the low-scoring game, while Hunter finished with nine.
Jelani Hewitt had eight points to lead Georgia Southern (22-9).
Hunter was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound of Ware's missed jumper. Georgia Southern's Curtis Diamond missed a 3-point attempt with 7 seconds left but tracked down the rebound and called a timeout as he jumped out of bounds with 5.1 seconds left. Eric Ferguson took Georgia Southern's final shot, missing from the left side.
Georgia State coach Ron Hunter was injured during the celebration after the game and had to be helped off the court. He did return to be with his team as they continued the celebration.