Georgia State got off to a red-hot start from the field and never looked back in a 72-42 victory over the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team in the opening round of the Dr. Pepper Classic on Wednesday afternoon. The Islanders (4-8) will now take on Montreat Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 CT.
Dante Curry was the main catalyst for the Panthers (5-5), as he buried a career-high six threes in leading the team with 18 points. Devonta White added 14 for GSU, who advance to the championship game of the Classic. Justin Reynolds had eight points and nine rebounds for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi in the loss.
Georgia State got off to a ferocious start, opening a 25-5 lead as the Islanders were ice cold from the field and the Panthers began 6-of-11 from downtown with a bevy of offensive boards. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was able to slow the Panther momentum over the final 10 minutes of the half, and finished the stanza with a 6-2 run, but still found itself down 37-19 headed to the locker room.
Curry was the main catalyst of the strong half, burying 5-of-7 from beyond the arc off the bench for the Panthers. GSU was 8-of-14 from downtown in the half as a team, while the Islanders were 0-for-5.
The break did not slow the Panthers, who got a quick three from Curry to embark on a 9-4 run out of the break to open up a 46-23 advantage. The two teams went back-and-forth over the next few minutes to make it 53-26 with 11:33 to play. The Islanders put together a 7-2 run to cut it to 55-33, but the Panthers responded with a 9-1 rally of their own to stop the momentum. The teams each scored eight points down the stretch to result in the final.
The Islanders will now take on Montreat in the consolation round of the Dr. Pepper Classic. Game time is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT at McKenzie Arena.