An 18-foot Greg Washington jumper with 16 seconds remaining gave No. 7 seed Hofstra a thrilling 68-67 victory over No. 10 seed Georgia State in the third first-round game of Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. With the win, the Pride advances to the quarterfinals where they will meet No. 2 seed Northeastern on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
Hofstra claimed its seventh straight victory, while winning for the 10th time in its last 11 games. The Pride improved to 19-13 overall, while Georgia State wrapped up the season at 12-20.
CAA Player of the Year Charles Jenkins led all scorers with 24 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, as he paced four Pride players in double figures. Miklos Szabo finished with 12 points, while Chaz Williams and Washington each tallied 11. Williams also added a game-high eight assists and three steals. Georgia State’s Ousman Krubally scored a career-high 19 points in his final collegiate game. He was 4-of-5 from the floor and a near perfect 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Joe Dukes scored 15 points for the Panthers.
The Pride led by five points at the half and extended the lead to its largest at 11 points midway through the second frame. Williams’ pull-up jumper on the fast-break gave Hofstra a 50-39 at the 10:41 mark.
The Panthers would not go quietly and used a 12-1 run to pull even at 53. With Hofstra leading, 52-41, Georgia State held Hofstra without of field goal for over five minutes in igniting the spurt. After a Trae Goldston 3-pointer cut the deficit to five, James Fields scored on a fast-break lay-up and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but GSU pulled down the rebound. On ensuing possession, Trey Hampton hit a jumper, drew the foul and completed the 3-point play to tie the contest at 53 with 6:37 remaining.
It was a back-and-forth tilt from there as neither team led by more than four points. Following Hampton’s 3-point play, Krubally scored 10 straight Georgia State points, but Jenkins nearly matched him with seven of his own. Georgia State finally took its first lead of the second half at 65-64 on a pair of free throws from Krubally with two minutes remaining.
After a lay-up by Szabo put Hofstra back on top, Dukes drove the baseline and scored on a lay-up, giving the Panthers a 67-66 advantage with 30.5 seconds left. On the ensuing Hofstra possession, Jenkins found Washington for the game-winning jumper just inside the top of the key with 16 seconds remaining. The Panthers would not get off a final shot as Washington stole the ball from Dukes as he spun to the middle of the floor to preserve the victory as the horn sounded.
Georgia State finished the game shooting 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the floor compared to 41.4 percent (24-of-58) for Hofstra. The Panthers connected on 84.2 percent (16-of-19) from the free throw line, while Hofstra was 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) from the charity stripe. GSU was done in by 15 turnovers compared to the Pride who had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 17-to-8.
Hofstra scored the first five points of the contest, before the Panthers held the Pride without a field goal for nearly seven minutes. Despite the success on the defensive end, GSU could only close to within 8-7, before a Jenkins 3-pointer from the left wing with 10:34 left.
Georgia State pulled even for the first time at 13 with 8:28 left in the opening half on a banking Trae Goldston leaner from the left side. As part of a 10-2 run, the Panthers took their first lead of the game on a jumper from the right side by Xavier Hansbro, before a Goldston steal led to a fast-break lay-up from Dukes that gave Georgia State at 19-15 lead and forced a Hofstra timeout with 6:55 remaining.
Out of the timeout, the Pride went on an 11-1 run. Szabo, who scored 10 first-half points, tied the game at 19. After Jenkins gave HU the lead on a floater in the paint, Halil Kanacevic found Szabo for an easy lay-up, before scoring on a lay-up of his own to push the Pride lead to 26-20 with 2:32 remaining in the first half.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Goldston and Kevin Lott closed Georgia State to within 28-26 in the final minute of play. Jenkins, though, knocked down his third 3-pointer of the opening 20 minutes with 21 seconds remaining to send Hofstra to the intermission with a 31-26 advantage.