Atlanta, GA – Senior guard Stevie Mejia had his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Georgia State used a big first half run to pull away for a 61-43 victory over Hofstra on Wednesday evening at the GSU Sports Arena.
The double-double was the first of Mejia’s career.
Junior forward Stephen Nwaukoni added eight rebounds and five points for the Pride.
Manny Atkins led GSU with 13 points and nine rebounds, while James Vincent and Devonta White each chipped in with 11 points.
Hofstra falls to 6-18 overall and 3-9 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play with the loss. Georgia State improved to 13-14 and 8-6 in league play.
The Panthers and the Pride ended up splitting the season series with Hofstra winning 52-50 in Hempstead back on January 7. This game marks the final contest between the two schools as conference mates with Georgia State leaving for the Sun Belt following this year.
It was a half of runs in the opening stanza as Georgia State opened the game with four straight points before Hofstra responded with a 10-0 run to take a 10-4 lead with 12:37 left in the half. Redshirt freshman forward Jordan Allen got the run started with an old-fashioned three-point play and a jumper from senior forward David Imes closed the spurt.
After GSU called a timeout down six, the Panthers scored the game’s next 16 points and led 20-10 following a three-pointer from David Travers at the 8:20 mark. Mejia would end the run with a three-pointer with 6:57 left in the half to bring the Pride back to within seven, 20-13.
In all, the Panthers closed the half with a 24-9 run as Mejia got the deficit under double digits with a long three-pointer at the first half buzzer.
Georgia State would score the first five points of the second half to open up a 33-19 lead on a free throw from Vincent with 18:33 to play in regulation.
Solid free throw shooting would keep Hofstra alive in the game as the Pride’s next 11 points came from the charity stripe.
The Panthers would take their largest lead of the game at 18 points on a pair of occasions before Hofstra mounted a late rally.
An 8-3 scoring run, including three-pointers from Mejia and senior guard Matt Grogan closed the gap to 50-41 with 4:50 to play.
That would be as close as the Pride would get, though, as Georgia State held Hofstra at bay the remainder of the contest on their way to the 18-point victory.
Allen was second on the team with six points for Hofstra.
Hofstra is next in action when it hosts Towson on Saturday at 4 p.m. For ticket information call (516) 463-TIXX.