Late First Half Run Keys Charleston Victory Over Men's Basketball
The sixth-seeded Cougars (16-16) advance to the semifinals where they will face No. 7 Elon. The third-seeded Eagles end their season at 20-12. The loss is the team’s fourth in a row, the longest skid this season.
“(Charleston’s) just a team that’s playing extremely well right now,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “They played well at the end of the year, they’re playing well in the Tournament and we’re a team that’s not playing well right now. When you combine those two things that’s the result you get.”
GSU senior Matthew Fields (Jacksonville, Fla.) tied his career high with 18 points (12 in the second half) and added eight rebounds. Fellow senior Louis Graham (West Palm Beach, Fla.) recorded his 31st career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) tallied 15 points and senior Anthony Marshall (Lake Worth, Fla.) added 12.
The Cougars led by eight in the first half on two occasions but the Eagles battled back and cut the margin to two, 25-23. From there, CofC scored 19 of the game’s next 22 points, including 13 in a row to take a 44-26 lead into the halftime break.
“In the first half their post players didn’t hurt us it was their guards,” said Price. “They really hurt us off penetration bad. That hurt us as much as the 3-point shots their drives to the basket that made us help over we just didn’t stay in front of the ball well.”
Charleston extended the bulge to 27 early in the second half however Georgia Southern worked the lead down to 11 (77-66) with 4:17 to play. But that’s as close as the Eagles would get as the Cougars made seven of their next nine free attempts to ice the contest.
“I thought we got beat aggressively around the glass,” Price said. “We looked tired, for whatever reason. We’ve looked that way the last four games and I thought it showed on the floor. We made a nice run and really showed some good effort in the second half, but we were just too far behind.”
Charleston’s Jermaine Johnson scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and shot 5-for-5 from the floor. Tony White, Jr. led all players with 19 points and Andrew Goudelock had 13.
GSU recorded 20 wins in a season for the third time in the last five seasons but each time was unable to reach the conference finals.
“I’m proud of our team and I think we’ve had a good year but I’m really disappointed in how we ended the year,” said Price. “We won 20 games, but to be honest with you, we’ve won 20 games three out of the last five years and it’s not good enough anymore. We’ve got to get over the hump.”
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 09 March 2008 00:11