Big Second-Half Run Not Enough for Win over Cougars
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Starting four freshmen, Georgia Southern found itself down by double digits most of the game, but the Eagles fought back to within seven points of the lead in the final five minutes of the game. Nineteen second-half points from College of Charleston's Donavan Monroe would hold off the late Eagle charge as Georgia Southern would fall 92-84 Saturday night at Carolina First Arena. Monroe, who ended the game with a career-high 30 points, was the game's leading scorer while teammate Trent Wiedeman tied Georgia Southern's Marvin Baynham (Miami, Fla.) for a game-high 11 rebounds. Tré Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) led the Eagles with a career-high 21 points, including five treys for the top performance from behind the arc this season. Baynham's 11 rebounds was a career best.
"Every day we walk out, we get a little better, and we learn a little more about ourselves and our team," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We have been taking some lumps on the road and it was good to see our players fight back. Our goals are still attainable, we are going to still keep pushing that boulder up the mountain and hopefully by January and February we can scare some people in the Southern Conference."
Down 24 points in the second half, Georgia Southern fought off the adversity and climbed back into the game with a 24-9 run to cut the lead to single digits with five minutes left. The Eagles would come within seven points of the lead three times in the final ticks but timely shooting from the Cougars would keep the Eagles pursuit in-check as time expired.
With the loss of Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) and Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) to injury, Georgia Southern entered the game with only nine players dressed to play. Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young wasn't enthused about the outcome, but was proud of his team on the way they handled adversity in a hostile environment.
"If you saw the second half, then you have to be proud of the fight in these young guys," said Young. "This helps our guys' confidence, but 'THE' Georgia Southern University is not about moral victories. This is a team in our conference that we want to knock off the mountain. We are going to keep fighting and keep building this thing for the future."
Despite the loss, the 84 points scored by Georgia Southern was the most given up by College of Charleston this year. Georgia Southern's 44 rebounds and 36 field goals were also season-highs against the Cougars.
Georgia Southern was down 20-2, in the first half. The Eagles would get within nine points before an 8-3 run by College of Charleston left the margin, 44-31 at the half.
College of Charleston came out on the locker room making six of its first seven shots from the floor to go up 23 points, 60-37, with 15:06 left in the game. Both teams would swap baskets over a five-minute span that ended with the Cougars up 24 points, 73-49, with 10 minutes left in the contest.
Grabbing seven rebounds and forcing five Cougar turnovers gave Georgia Southern second-chance opportunities. Scoring 21 points off nine successful field goals in a five-minute span put the score at, 81-70. Georgia Southern would fight the rest of the game but could not overcome the early deficit.
The Eagles held the Cougars to only three offensive rebounds in the second half, nine offensive rebounds total in the game. The 24 offensive rebounds from the Eagles under the basket helped convert 44 points inside the paint and 29 points off second-chance opportunities.
Five other Eagles joined Bussey in double-figure scoring as Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.), Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) and Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) scored 16, 14 and 13 points, respectively. Sam Mike (Atlanta, Ga.) and Baynham both ended the night with 10 points. Drayton had a season-high eight rebounds while Mike's seven-rebound total was a career best. Hewitt's five steals was a career high for the freshman.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 05 December 2010 04:04