Thomas’ career-high 26, dunk lead Georgia St. to 74-68 win

ATLANTA (AP) — Jeff Thomas scored a career-high 26 points, including a big dunk in the final minute, and Georgia State beat East Tennessee State 74-68 in a season opener Tuesday night.

A 3-pointer by D’Marcus Simonds gave the Panthers a six-point lead with 2½ minutes left before the Buccaneers cut it to one on a 3-point play by Isaiah Tisdale and dunk by Mladen Armus with 1:37 to go. But Damon Wilson hit a 3-pointer and Simonds blocked a shot, Wilson got the rebound and Thomas put in a breakaway dunk with 13 seconds left.

Thomas, a senior, went 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. Simonds scored 21 points while Malik Benlevi added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson had 11 rebounds in his Panthers debut.

ETSU won 25 games last season but has 10 new players on its roster. Tisdale scored 19 points while Armus had 11 with nine rebounds. Bo Hodges also scored 11.

A 14-2 run gave Georgia State a 66-58 lead with 3:46 left.