Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter Hits Game-Winning 3-Pointer Over Baylor

By JACK LeGWIN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  R.J. Hunter knows he probably blew up more than a few NCAA Tournament brackets with his game-winning 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining in a 57-56 win over Baylor.

But he isn’t worried about that .

It’s March and his shot from well beyond the arc certainly qualified as Madness.

“We just fought to the end, and that is what we wanted to do,” Hunter said in the press conference after the game. “Thank God for that 50-footer.”

Down 56-44  with 2:38 left, Georgia State closed the game on a 13-0 run to win the affair in thrilling fashion, becoming the second No. 14 seed to upset a 3 on Thursday following UAB’s win over Iowa State earlier. Hunter went on a 9-0 run by himself, which included the winning shot with 2 seconds left.

The shot prompted Georgia State coach Ron Hunter, R.J.’s father, to fall off his stool.

“This is my son, I’m proud of him,” Ron Hunter said. “I just wanted to say that. I haven’t been able to say that in the past three years, so I just want to say that I’m proud of him.”

As for sharing the moment with his father, R.J. said: “It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream come true. I hugged my sister and said, ‘We’re going to be on ‘One Shining Moment’ because we always watch that as a family. It’s a little surreal, hard to digest, but God looked out for me today.”

When teammates Kevin Ware, Ryann Green and Hunter were asked if they believed in miracles after the shot, they all responded together, “Yes, now we do.”

The father, who tore his Achilles in the celebration during the Sun Belt conference title game against Georgia Southern, also joked that he needs to go shopping before Saturday’s game against the Xavier-Ole miss winner.

“I’ve got to get a suit,” he said. “I need one now for Saturday.”

The 6-foot-5 Hunter is currently projected at No. 24 in the 2015 NBA Draft by Draft Express. He has been watched by 67 personnel from 27 different NBA teams this season. One NBA scout told SNY.tv Hunter would be a late-first or early-second round pick.

In a recent interview, his father jokingly told USA Today that he would illegally recruit his son to stay at Georgia State for an extra year.

“I’m going to buy him a car and give him a lot of money and new clothes when we’re done with this. I can illegally recruit him and get away with it,” Ron said,according to USA Today. “His mom is going to get something really special too so she can be on my side and we can kind of sweet talk him into coming back.”

 

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