Eagles Get SoCon Win, Defeat Furman 69-53
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern held off a late Furman rally and pulled away for a 69-53 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball win Saturday (Jan. 24) at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles improved to 7-10 overall and 5-4 in the SoCon. For the second straight game Georgia Southern allowed a season-low point total.
The Eagles looked to be cruising to their fourth home win in their last five games but the Paladins (2-15, 0-8) made a late charge.
Foul problems plagued Furman all night as the Paladins had as many fouls (25) as they did rebounds (25) with 7:42 remaining. Julian Allen (Waterbury, CT/Garden City CC) hit a jumper 20 seconds later to put the Eagles ahead 54-42. From there though the Eagles did not make a field goal until 2:10 left and the Paladins eventually made it a five point game with 4:10 remaining.
Ben Drayton III (St. Mary’s/Camden County) hit 1-of-2 free throws, Allen sank 3-of-4 and Sandy Perry (Perth Amboy, N.J./Barton County CC) made 1-of-2 during that stretch to make it 59-50 with just under three minutes remaining and Furman got no closer.
“They (Furman) decided the way they were going to win was to come out and make it somewhat of an ugly game. They played zone nearly the whole game and had us back on our heels,” said head coach Jeff Price. “In the past we’ve been the type of team if we are not scoring we’re not doing other things on the court. We struggled against scoring against their zone in the first half, but we still got stops when we had to get them.”
The Eagles led 16-15 with nine minutes left in the first half when Antoine Johnson (Atlanta/Westlake) and Antonio Hanson (Ft. Worth, TX/Independence CC) hit back-to-back 3-point baskets. That keyed a 15-6 run to close out the first half.
Furman actually out-shot the Eagles 45 percent (9-20) to 37.5 (9-24), but Georgia Southern drained four from beyond the arc and made six more free throws for a 31-21 halftime lead. The Eagles also held a 17-13 edge on the glass, limiting the Paladins to three offensive boards, and forced three more turnovers. Furman also had three of its starters (Neil Duval, Brandon Sebirumbi and Jordan Miller) pick up three first-half fouls.
The 21 points in the first half were the lowest scored by a Georgia Southern opponent this season. In fact, dating back to the second half of the Wofford game on Thursday Georgia Southern gave up 42 points over that 40-minute span.
Hanson broke out of his long-range shooting slump in a big way. The junior guard had made only five of his last 26 from beyond the arc over the previous four games. He drained 5-of-10 from long distance, finishing with 17 points.
“It was good to see Antonio shoot the ball well, he had been struggling from the field. I thought he hit some huge 3s’ that really broke that gap,” said Price.
Allen made 7-of-8 from the free throw line and finished with 13 points. Drayton made 7-of-10 at the charity stripe, totaling 12 points. Both teams combined for 57 fouls. GS made 23-of-36 free throws while Furman made 17-of-29.
Overall the Eagles shot 46.3 percent from the field and held Furman to 41.9 percent. The Paladins held a 30-27 edge on the glass but Georgia Southern forced 18 turnovers and committed only 11. The Eagles also held Furman without a 3-point field goal, finishing 0-for-6.
Bryson Barnes scored a team-leading 13 points off the bench for the Paladins. Miller added 11.
Georgia Southern hits the road again next week for two games, starting Thursday night (Jan. 29) at Samford. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 24 January 2009 00:22