Eagles Begin SoCon Play with WCU Wednesday
Western Carolina (4-10, 0-2 SoCon) vs. Georgia Southern (4-11, 0-2 SoCon)
January 5, 2011 • 7 p.m. (ET)
Hanner Fieldhouse (Statesboro, Ga.)
Georgia Southern and Western Carolina meet for the 31st time. The Eagles lead the all-time series, 18-12, which dates back to 1949. The two programs split the series a year ago, with both teams winning on their respective home courts.
BRINGING OUT THE BEST
Western Carolina has not defeated Georgia Southern at home since February 7, 1998. Since the 81-69 loss in '98, the Eagles have defeated the Catamounts in Hanner Fieldhouse six-straight times.
It has not been an easy streak to extend as Georgia Southern has only won the last four home games against Western Carolina by an average of 5.5 points.
WESTERN CAROLINA CATAMOUNTS
Western Carolina is hoping to break a six-game losing streak, with its last win coming against Bradley (66-65) at home on Nov. 30th. During the stretch, the Catamounts fell to Samford (63-58) and Chattanooga (67-65) in back-to-back games to start 0-2 in SoCon play this season. Western Carolina dropped its last game in overtime to UNC Asheville, 85-79.
Clinging to a one-point lead, the Catamounts missed two opportunities from the charity stripe on one-and-one attempts that allowed the Bulldogs to send the game into overtime with a free throw. UNC Asheville outscored Western Carolina 12-6 in the extra period to win. Richie Gordon led the Catamounts in scoring with 21 points while teammate Trey Sumler had a team-high eight rebounds. Gordon leads the team in rebounding, averaging 5.3 rebounds per game. Mike Williams is the Catamounts top scorer, averaging 15.3 points.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST GAME
Junior guard Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) led Georgia Southern with 18 points while senior forward Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) brought down a team-high six rebounds. Shooting just 36.8 percent from the field in the first half, the Eagles sported a 61.3 field goal percentage in the second half to raise the total field goal percentage to 52.0 percent.
Three other Eagles joined Drayton in double figures as freshman forward Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) and sophomore guard Zuri James (Stone Mountain, Ga.) scored 13 points each while Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) finished with 11 points and a career-best six assists. The 13 points against Eastern Kentucky marked the eighth game in a row that Ferguson has scored in double figures while the 19 points recorded by Drayton extended his double-figure streak to four games.
STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT
Three Eagles ranked in the top six of the SoCon steals-per-game chart has propelled Georgia Southern to 12th in the national rankings as well as a first-place SoCon ranking (10.0). Eric Ferguson and Ben Drayton III are tied for 51st nationally and fourth in the SoCon with 2.1 steals per game while Jelani Hewitt's 1.9 steals per game is tied for 72nd nationally and sixth in the SoCon. Rory Spencer's 1.3 steals per game is tied for 11th in the SoCon.
HALF A CENTURY
The 52 points scored in the second half against Eastern Kentucky was the sixth time Georgia Southern has scored 50 or more points in a half. The Eagles are 3-3 when at least 50 points are put up in a half. The highest point total is 53 in a second-half loss at College of Charleston (84-92). Only once in the six occasions have the Eagles scored 50 points in the first half.
The six 50+ point games:
Points Opponent Date Half
53 at College of Charleston 12-4-10 2nd
52 vs. Eastern Kentucky 1-2-11 2nd
52 vs. Brewton-Parker 12-11-10 2nd
51 at Auburn 12-29-10 2nd
51 vs. Reinhardt 11-18-10 1st
51 vs. Carver College 11-15-10 2nd
The 88-84 loss to Auburn in overtime on December 29th gave Georgia Southern a 2-2 record in overtime under Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. This was the second-straight overtime game for the Eagles, who were coming off a 74-72 overtime win against Georgia State on December 22nd. All three overtime games prior to the game at Auburn have been played at home in Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles' other loss in overtime came against eventual SoCon champion Wofford (76-82) on Feb, 20, 2010. Georgia Southern's first overtime win under Coach Young was a 86-77 victory over Arkansas-Fort Smith in the Legends Classic last season.
In Division I history, Georgia Southern has seven seasons where it has played three or more OT games. This is the earliest in the season the Eagles have played two overtime games already (by one day). The seven seasons are: 2004-05 (3 OT games), 2003-04 (3 OT games), 1992-93 (3 OT games), 1990-91 (3 OT games), 1986-87 (4 OT games), 1981-1982 (3 OT games) and 1978-79 ( 3 OT games).
Two times Georgia Southern has been involved in a 5 OT game, once during the 1981-82 season and once during the 1983-84 season.
$1 PROMOTION FOR WESTERN CAROLINA GAME
The game against the Catamounts has a special admission price of $1. Ticket windows at Hanner open one hour before tipoff.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 00:16