Tale of Two Halves in Loss to South Alabama
STATESBORO, Ga. - South Alabama overcame a 13-point halftime deficit en route to a 68-58 win over the Eagles Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse. Redshirt-freshman Augustine Rubit posted a double-double, scoring 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half for the Jaguars and added 18 rebounds. Georgia Southern freshman Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) had 13 points to lead the Eagles in scoring for the third time this year. Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) had six rebounds to lead the Eagles.
"It is evident that we are not playing as a team right now," said Eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We have to care about defending and rebounding and stop caring about individual numbers. Once we make defense and rebounding a priority, everything else will start to fall in place."
The Eagles shot 60.9 percent from the field, picking up 22 points off South Alabama turnovers in the first half, but could not continue with that performance in the second half. South Alabama began cutting into Georgia Southern's lead right out of the locker room as a 12-0 run by the Jaguars made it a one-point game in the first three minutes. Plagued with poor field goal shooting in the second half, the Eagles saw their lead dissipate as solid shooting by South Alabama tied the game at 51 all. Rubit slid into the lane for a layup to give South Alabama a 53-51 lead with 7:06 left in the game. The Jaguars would hold off the Eagles for the win.
The Jaguars presence on the boards in the second half was also a key component as South Alabama outrebounded Georgia Southern 25-14 to help spark 14 points in the paint and 12 points off second-chance opportunities. The Eagles trimmed the lead to two as Ferguson had a layup and Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) added a free throw with three and a half minutes to play. Jaguar free throws in the final minute pushed the lead back out to double digits.
Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) and Ferguson joined Hewitt in double-figure scoring as Drayton finished the game with 12 points and Ferguson had 10. Drayton and teammate Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) each had five rebounds.
South Alabama took a four-point lead to start the game before the Eagles came back with a dunk by Ferguson and layup and free throw by Baskerville to set the score at 8-6, Eagles. Marvin Baynham's (Miami, Fla.) two free throws broke an 8-8 tie and Georgia Southern would maintain the lead until the second half. High-percentage shots and great defense propelled a 20-6 run by Georgia Southern to put the Eagles up 36-21 with three and a half minutes left in the first. The Eagles would get the lead up to 15 points one more time before the end of the half. DeAndre Hersey scored for the Jaguars as time expired to make it a 13-point game at halftime.
Georgia Southern returns to action Wednesday, December 22nd, as it plays host to former Trans America Athletic Conference rival Georgia State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hanner Fieldhouse. This will be the Panthers first trip to Statesboro since 1996.
The December 22nd game will be "Toys for Tots" night and all fans who bring an unwrapped toy will receive $4 admission into the game.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 18 December 2010 19:22