Tuscaloosa, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Devonta White and R.J. Hunter scored 18 points apiece to lead the Georgia State Panthers to a 96-70 rout of the McNeese State Cowboys in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Coleman Coliseum.
Rashaad Richardson provided a spark for GSU (2-1) off the bench with 15 points in 16 minutes. Manny Atkins and Ryan Harrow chipped in 12 points each while T.J. Shipes led the Panthers on the glass with eight rebounds. Hunter and Harrow tied for the team-high in assists with four each.
Ledrick Eackles paced the Cowboys (1-3) with 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the floor while committing four of the team's 11 turnovers. Keelan Garrett added 14 points. Kevin Hardy contributed in a variety of ways as he tallied nine points, eight assists and seven boards.
GSU took control in the early stages as it converted 60 percent of its shots from the floor including 7-of-12 from 3-point range to take a 54-35 advantage into the intermission. McNeese State could not keep up as it connected on only 5-of-18 shots from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
The Cowboys made only 38.9 percent of their field goal tries in the second stanza. The Panthers outrebounded McNeese State, 25-11, to pull away even further after halftime.
GSU held a 36-18 edge in points in the paint and never trailed at any point in the contest.
The Panthers will take on Alabama in the next stage of the tournament on Tuesday. McNeese State will take on Stillman.