Men's Basketball Rallies to Nip Charleston in Overtime
GSU snaps a season-long three-game losing streak to improve to 10-5 overall and 3-2 in the Southern Conference. CofC drops to 7-8 and 2-3.
“You know I’m proud of our team,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “I feel like we didn’t play particularly well, especially in the first half. I think it was very obvious with our change in intensity and the way we approached the beginning of the second half with a lot more aggressiveness on the boards, with what we call “manning up”, and quit getting pushed around, I thought we were a lot better in the second half.”
Freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) paced the Eagles’ offense with a team-high 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He led a group of four in double-figures, joined by senior Matthew Fields (Jacksonville, Fla.) with 18, junior Julian Allen (Waterbury, Conn.) with 15 and senior Louis Graham (West Palm Beach, Fla.) with 14.
Powers’ output was his highest since tallying a career-best 26 on Nov. 26 against Mercer. He ends a season-long three-game skid in single-digits.
“I always say we are as good as our seniors and I thought we had pretty good senior leadership down the stretch,” said Price. “Matt had some good plays, Louis had some good plays on the inside (and) it was good to see Willie Powers kind of get off his slump and come out and play well.”
The Cougars scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 37-30 lead in to the break. Antwaine Wiggins answered a Graham lay-up with a 3-pointer in the opening moments of the second half to give Charleston its largest lead of the game 40-32.
Georgia Southern responded with six straight but was unable to grab the lead until Graham finally put the Eagles on top 67-66 with 7:36 to play in regulation.
The Eagles led by as many as six late in the contest but the Cougars erased that with six straight to tie the game for the 10th time at 75-75 with 2:29 to go.
Junior Kenith Ward’s (Warner Robins, Ga.) sixth point of the evening gave GSU an 80-78 lead with 29 seconds left, but CofC’s Dustin Scott answered with a runner in the lane to even it up with 13 seconds on the clock. On the Eagles’ final possession, a Graham dunk came after the buzzer, sending the game into the extra session.
Georgia Southern only trailed at the outset of overtime but after a Powers lay-up with 3:30 to play, the Eagles never relinquished the lead.
For Charleston, Tony White, Jr. led all scorers with 26 points. Scott added 20 and Andrew Goudelock and Konimba Diarra added 14 and 12, respectively, off the bench.
The Eagles return to action Saturday, traveling to The Citadel Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 10 January 2008 00:23