Georgia Southern Downs Furman, 64-57
STATESBORO, Ga. - Despite trailing by as many as six in the second half, Georgia Southern Men's Basketball went on a decisive 21-3 run in the middle stages of the second period en route to a 64-57 victory over Furman on Monday night. The win improves the Eagles to 11-12 overall and 9-4 in the SoCon to go one-game up on Thursday's opponent, Wofford. The Paladins drop to 12-12 overall and 6-7 in league play.
"Defensively, we really turned it up in the second half," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "Playing good defense is tough against big, physical teams like Furman, but I was proud that our guys put in the effort to push them around. We have shown the ability to respond to physical play. Our team has shown the ability to play with big, physical teams and that is what helped us get the win tonight."
The Eagles allowed Furman just eight field goals in the second half as the Paladins shot 26.7% in the second period. Conversely, Georgia Southern shot 57.1% in the second half to post an even 25-of-50 from the field on the night.
(Miramar, Fla.) continued his strong play of late with a game-high 16 points. Hewitt has scored 18.25 points per game over the last four contests. Senior (St. Marys, Ga.) posted 13 points with three assists and a pair of steals. The Eagles recorded eight steals, forcing 17 Furman turnovers.
SoCon Player of the Year Candidate (Statesboro, Ga.) logged his fourth double-double of the season with a balanced 11 points and 11 rebounds. He also blocked two shots as the Eagles blocked a season-high eight shots as a squad. Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) joined Ferguson with 11 points. The senior narrowly missed his second double-double of the season with eight assists.
Freshman (North Augusta, S.C.) scored seven first half points, finishing one shy of his career high of eight points.
The Eagles, who were out-rebounded by 14 in the previous meeting this season, turned that number around with a 36-30 advantage on the glass. Georgia Southern owned the paint, outscoring Furman 28-10 inside the lane.
The Paladins were led by 13 points from Bobby Austin. GSU put the wraps on Furman's pair of 16-point scorers in the January 19th game, holding Brandon Sebirumbi and Charlie Reddick to 10 and nine points, respectively.
Georgia Southern spotted Furman 10 points in the first few minutes of the game, but a 13-0 run gave the Eagles the lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Both teams shot the lights out from downtown in the opening period with Southern making 4-of-5 (80%) and the Paladins draining 6-of-9 (66.7%). There, however, was nothing between the teams at the break, tied 34-34.
Furman took the lead to six points in less than five minutes, but the Eagles answered. The teams traded 3-point baskets, continuing the strong performance from the perimeter.
Ferguson drove the lane with 8:41 and put the ball in for his fourth points of the night and a four point GSU lead, its largest of the second half to that point. He flushed the ball again on the a few possessions later, and drew a foul on the next possession. He missed the and-one opportunity, but it was good enough for a six point GSU lead inside of eight minutes remaining.
The Eagles continued playing stingy defense and extended the lead to 12 points with less than five minutes remaining on a 21-3 Eagle run. The run lasted over 10 minutes and saw four different Eagles contribute points.
Furman whittled away at the advantage out of the final media timeout, trailing by eight points with three minutes remaining in the game. The Eagles ran over a minute off the clock on just one possession as Ferguson made two of his seven offensive rebounds on the night. He capped the trip off with a jumper in the post to take the lead to 10 with two minutes left.
Furman scored a pair of three-point baskets with 1:21 and 56 seconds remaining to trail by just four points inside the final minute. That, however, would be as close as the Paladins would get. GSU made 50% of its free throws in the final 30 seconds, but Furman would go 0-for-3 from downtown in the final minute to finish the night.
Georgia Southern collides with Wofford on Thursday night in a game that will help to decide the SoCon South Division. The Terriers fell at Davidson and trail the Eagles by one game for second place in the SoCon South. GSU will hold a "White Out" for the game against the Terriers with fans encouraged to wear white shirts for the contest which begins at 7 p.m.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 06 February 2012 22:37