Fouls Spelled Trouble for Eagles at South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The brewing of foul trouble late in the first half would spell difficulty for Georgia Southern in the second as the Eagles fell to South Carolina, 90-66, at Colonial Life Arena Monday (November 16) night. Sophomore guard Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) had 15 points off the bench to lead the Eagles. Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) had 14 points, with 11 in the first half to bolster Georgia Southern's early lead. The Eagles led by as many as seven points early in the contest, using defensive pressure to disrupt the Gamecocks' normal game plan and cause 24 South Carolina turnovers. Freshman forward Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) collected 10 rebounds for a share of the game lead to go along with his nine points.
"We are obviously disappointed," said first-year Georgia Southern head coach Charlton Young. "We played with them for about 14 minutes, and we have to learn to play all 40 minutes. I have been preaching to the guys, 'Do not put your head in the mouth of a lion, do what we do.' When we came out of the half, we had about an eight-minute period where we got out of what we do, and they capitalized on it. We are going to learn from every experience so that we can continue to play games in March, and when we are on this stage again, we will know how to play at this level."
Late in the first half, a few Georgia Southern turnovers and fouls gave South Carolina a six-point advantage, 33-27, but the Eagles battled back to bring the score within one point, 34-35. An 8-2 Gamecock run in the final two minutes of the first half put South Carolina back on top at the break, 43-36. At that point, three Eagles were already saddled with three fouls each and three others had two apiece.
A five-minute scoring drought to open the second half gave South Carolina a comfortable margin, 59-36, with senior forward Mike Holmes scoring eight of the 16 points during the Gamecock run. Senior guard Antonio Hanson (Ft. Worth, Texas) hit back-to-back three pointers to help cut the lead to 11, but South Carolina responded with a pair of threes, one by Dominique Archie and the other by Brandis Raley-Ross to extend it to 17. Georgia Southern continued to battle back, reducing the lead to 13 with layups by Drayton and Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.).
South Carolina enjoyed the benefit of only two team fouls most of the second half while shooting from the bonus at the 11:40 mark of the second half. Powers picked up his third and fourth fouls within 64 seconds to put South Carolina in the double bonus at the 6:43 mark. Hanson hit his third trey of the half, Drayton added four more points and Baskerville had two to close out the scoring.
All-SEC guard Devan Downey, who averaged 19.8 points last season and had 23 to lead the Gamecocks in their season opener, didn't score his first points until the 10-minute mark of the first half. Dominique Archie had the game-high points total with 18, 11 coming in the second half, and shared the rebounding lead with Baskerville. Downey finished with 14. The Gamecocks had 28 points from 44 trips to the free throw line to the Eagles' 17 attempts, with only four in the second half.
Georgia Southern faces its second Southeastern Conference team this week with a 7 p.m. contest at Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 18th in Gainesville. The game will be televised on FSN Florida, on the radio locally at WPMX 102.9 and globally at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 01:20