Men's Basketball Heads to South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Following its season-opening 108-59 win over Reinhardt Friday night, the Georgia Southern Men's Basketball team traveled north up U.S. Highway 301 for its first road game of the 2009-2010 season. The Eagles face South Carolina Monday, Nov. 16th at 7:05 p.m., televised by SportSouth with Tom Werme calling the action and former South Carolina head coach Eddie Fogler providing the analysis. Voice of the Eagles Chris Blair will be joined by John Koon for the Georgia Southern radio broadcast. The game can be heard on WPMX 102.9 locally in Statesboro and globally on www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com with pre-game beginning 30 minutes prior to tipoff.
Junior guard Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.), who missed all of the 2008-09 season with an knee injury, recorded his first double-figure performance in points (16) and rebounds (10), and narrowly missed a triple double with eight steals, against Reinhardt. Rucker's consolation, however, was that his eight steals total sets a Georgia Southern individual single-game record. His defensive efforts, as well as the defensive mindset of the entire Eagle team, will be a deciding factor in the game against South Carolina. The task presents a tougher challenge as the Gamecocks have four experienced starters, including all-SEC guard Devan Downey. South Carolina, boasting 10 upperclassmen on its roster, received one vote in the preseason Coaches' poll and 28 votes in the preseason Associated Press poll.
"Playing these tough games early forces us to get better quickly and shows us what we have to do to play at a national level," said Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young.
Georgia Southern and South Carolina have met 14 previous times with the Gamecocks holding an 11-3 series lead and current two-game win streak. The last meeting between the two schools was on Feb. 14, 1996, resulting in a 57-45 South Carolina win. The last Eagle win took place on Dec. 8, 1992, during Coach Young's senior year. Young scored 26 points, including three three-pointers, as the Eagles won 82-69, in Columbia. Calvin Sinkfield shared the game-high rebounding total with 10.
In the season opener, GSU held Reinhardt to 33.3 percent shooting in the first half and 42.9 percent overall while collecting 17 steals. The Eagles scored 43 points off 27 Reinhardt turnovers and out-rebounded Reinhardt 46-28. On the offensive side, Georgia Southern had five players in double figures scoring with junior transfer Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) tying Rucker for the lead with 16, Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Ga.) adding 15, and Antoine Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ben Drayton III (Saint Marys, Ga.) adding 14 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench.
The Gamecocks defeated Alabama A&M 88-50 on Friday, Nov. 13th, with four of the five South Carolina starters scoring in double-figures, lead by Downey with 23 points. The Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to a 36.4 game field goal percentage, picking up 29 of its point total off Alabama A&M turnovers. The Gamecocks allowed only 22 points in the second half.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 15 November 2009 22:07