Rivalry Renewed Between Georgia Southern and Georgia State Tuesday Night
STATESBORO, Ga. - It's the battle of GSU vs. GSU as Georgia Southern travels to Atlanta for a 7 p.m. game against Georgia State at the Georgia State Sports Arena Tuesday, December 22nd. The matchup rekindles perhaps the fiercest of rivalries for both the Georgia Southern and Georgia State basketball programs.
Several members of the Georgia Southern team have connections to the Atlanta area including seniors Krzysztof Janiszewski (Community Christian School), Antoine Johnson (Westlake H.S.), Blake Thompson (Cartersville / Woodland H.S.), juniors Johntavious Rucker (Decatur / Columbia H.S. & Avondale H.S.) and Rory Spencer (Frederick Douglass H.S.) and freshmen Cameron Baskerville (Marietta / Whitefield Academy) and Alex Coxworth (Alpharetta / Centennial H.S.). Eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young served for four years as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech with assistant coach Pershin Williams working as a graduate assistant for the Yellow Jackets. Assistant Coach Chris Kreider, who spent two seasons at Georgia Tech, coached at St. Francis High School in Alpharetta from 2003-2006.
"This is a huge game for us, " said Eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "Right now, it's more about us and what we need to do than it is about them. Georgia State has a great coach in Rod Barnes and they are a very physical team. We've struggled against physical teams this season, but we've worked hard to improve some of those areas in practice."
The GSU-GSU series is the fifth-longest in Georgia Southern history, including the storied 1992 Trans America Athletic Conference tournament championship game at Hanner Fieldhouse, which sent the Eagles to their last NCAA tournament appearance. The Eagles and Panthers met two more times after Georgia Southern left the TAAC, in 1995 and 1996, with Georgia State winning both of those outings. Georgia Southern leads the overall series 30-11 and is 9-6 in games in Atlanta. The Panthers' top two scorers are senior guards Joe Dukes (12.6 ppg) and Trae Goldston (11.6 ppg) with senior forward Xavier Hansbro just shy of double digits at 9.4 ppg. Ousman Krubally leads on the boards with 6.8 rpg with support from senior forward Trey Hampton (5.3 rpg) and Hansbro (5.1 rpg).
Georgia State broke its two-game losing streak with a come-from-behind win over Eastern Michigan, 66-65 on Saturday (December 19) and evened its record to 6-6 on the year. Goldston hit 8-13 field goals, including three three-pointers for 22 points. Dukes had 14 points and Hampton had 11 points and the Panthers team-high six rebounds. The Panthers, down by four points went on an 8-2 run over three minutes to take a two-point lead with 2:54 left in the game. Eastern Michigan tied the score at 62 all, but with his only jumper of the game, Georgia State's junior guard Marques Johnson hit the game-winner with less than a minute to play.
The Eagles (3-9, 0-2 SoCon) played Thursday at Evansville, falling to the Purple Aces 58-69 at Roberts Stadium. Georgia Southern hit 57.9 percent from the floor in the first half, but only 32.3 percent in the second. Evansville's nearly flawless performance, combined with 60 percent field goal shooting in the second half, held the Eagles at bay. Sophomore forward Colby Wohlleb (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the effort on both sides of the court with 12 points and a career-best eight rebounds.
Junior guard Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded seven assists and had 11 points to keep his streak of games with double figures in scoring intact. Powers, with nine games in double figures, is the Eagles leading scorer at 14.5 points per game. Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.) had seven rebounds vs. the Aces and now ranks as the top Eagle rebounder at 5.6 per game. Forwards junior Rory Spencer and freshman Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) are second and third in rebounding with averages of 5.3 and 5.2 rebounds, respectively.
Open to all Eagle fans, a pre-game event at Six Feet Under, hosted by the Georgia Southern Office of Alumni Relations, begins at 4:30 p.m. For more information on the alumni event, please contact Alumni Relations at (912) 478-2586.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 20 December 2009 19:02