JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – R.J. Hunter’s 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining capped a comeback from a 12-point deficit and lifted 14th-seeded Georgia State to a 57-56 opening-game victory over third-seeded Baylor in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
With Ron Hunter, his father and coach, working the sideline in a rolling chair less than a week after tearing his left Achilles tendon celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference championship, R.J. shrugged off a poor shooting performance to come through when his team needed him most.
Baylor (24-10) did not score after going up 56-44 on two free throws with 2:54 remaining. Pesky Georgia State forced three turnovers and Hunter scored nine straight points, including a 3 that brought chants of “R.J. 3, R.J. 3, R.J. 3” from Panthers fans at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
When Taurean Prince’s desperation heave from beyond halfcourt bounced off the backboard at the buzzer, Ron Hunter fell off his chair amid a wild celebration.