Men's Basketball Opens Home Schedule Against Mercer Monday
Monday will be Public Safety Day as Georgia Southern honors the men and women that serve in that field.
GSU enters the game on a four-game winning streak, including a 68-63 victory at Furman in the team’s Southern Conference lid-lifter. The Eagles dominated the glass, outrebounding the Paladins 46-34 overall and held a 24-21 edge on Georgia Southern’s offensive end.
“We offensive rebounded the ball really well,” said head coach Jeff Price. “Twenty-four offensive rebounds is a lot and we went on a five-minute stretch where they scored one point. When we needed defensive stops we got them.”
The GSU defense will be tested as it faces a team that averages 80 points per game in Mercer, tops in the Atlantic Sun. The Bears, who defeated Southern California 96-81 in Los Angeles to open the season, have lost four straight since then and dropped a 97-92 decision to Loyola Marymount on Saturday.
“I think this is the best Mercer team I’ve seen in a long time,” said Price. “We can’t be concerned with their record. They played at Southern Cal, at Boston College and against Alabama. They’re very good, they’re very athletic, they push the ball well in transition, their guards are explosive and we’re going to have to come ready to play.”
Three of Mercer’s five opponents have come from major conferences: USC, Alabama and Boston College. The Bears also traveled to Boston to face Harvard.
“Just look at who they’ve played,” said Price. “They’re not going to be real concerned about playing Georgia Southern. They’re going to come in here and play hard.”
Mercer has five players that average double-figure points, led by James Florence. In last season’s clash in Macon, Florence led all scorers with 19 points. This season, he averages a team-high 16.6 points per outing, even after being held to just six Saturday against LMU.
“He’s very explosive. He and Mark Hall are really explosive small guards. They get to the basket, shoot 3s and we’re going to have to know where those guys are at all the time.”
Hall, who has yet to start a game, poured in 30 points in his last outing, shooting 15-of-17 from the free throw line.
Georgia Southern’s Louis Graham notched his second double-double in his last three games at Furman with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He tops the team in both scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and has pulled down 11 or more rebounds in each of his last three outings after not grabbing more than four in his first two.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 25 November 2007 00:23