Eagles Down The Citadel, 78-72, In Double Overtime
STATESBORO, GA. - Georgia Southern Men's Basketball needed extra time to take a 78-72 double overtime victory over The Citadel at Hanner Fieldhouse on Monday night. The Eagles shot 12-of-13 free throws in the second overtime period to earn the second-straight win for the Eagles over the Bulldogs.
"In order win championships you have to be able to win the close games and our team did a great job of playing hard to help us get this big win," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "Hats off to Coach Driesell's Citadel team, they did a great job of bouncing back from a tough loss to Davidson to play very well today. At the end of the day I'm just proud of our team to scrap and get the win today."
The Eagles improve to 8-11 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Conference. Georiga Southern also moves past idle Wofford for sole possesion of second place in the league's South Division. The Citadel falls to 4-15, 1-7 in the SoCon.
Senior Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) scored 19 points to go with eight assists on the night and went 7-for-8 from the free throw stripe in overtime. Powers played a season-high 37 minutes of the contest. Fellow senior Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) added 18 points while grabbing three steals.
Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) matched his season-high with 11 points, shooting 5-of-6 from the field. Sophomore Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) scored the opening four points for the Eagles and went on to finish the night with nine and nine rebounds. He also blocked two shots. By finishing the game with nine points, Ferguson snapped a string of nine-straight games with double-figure scoring.
The Citadel's leading scorer this season, Mike Groselle finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, matching the season-high rebounds allowed to a single player by the Eagles this season. Marshall Harris III scored 14 including a layup which forced the game into overtime.
Each team opened the night with leads of four points in the first half, but it was the Eagles that carried a three point margin into the halftime break. The Bulldogs out-shot the Eagles 57.1% to 52.2% in the first half, but neither team was able to make a three-pointer in the game's first 20 minutes.
Out of the break, GSU extended the lead to five, but the Citadel responded with a 7-0 run to put the Bulldogs up by a deuce. Tré Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) recorded the Eagles' first basket from downtown with 14:39 left in the game and added another one just 27 seconds later to give the Eagles a 35-33 lead.
The lead grew to six points before consecutive three-pointers from the Bulldogs leveled the game with 11:42 remaining. Over the next four minutes, The Citadel would go on a 9-4 run to take a five point lead as the Eagles went cold from the field. An acrobatic basket by Drayton ended the run and brought the game within three at 49-46 with 7:18 remaining.
Georgia Southern leveled the contest again with 5:48 remaining as Baskerville scored inside the paint and was harmed on the try. He made the free throw to tie the game at 51-51. A trey by Hewitt with 3:44 remaining gave the Eagles a one point cushion inside the game's final minute.
Jelani Hewitt (Miramar, Fla.) made a layup with 52 second remaining to put the Eagles up by three. The Bulldogs answered with a wide-open three pointer on the next trip to tie the game again. The Eagles drew up a play with 23.5 seconds remaining that saw Powers drive and find Ferguson open under the net where he was fouled. He made both free throws to give Georgia Southern a 60-58 lead with 5.9 seconds remaining.
The Citadel's Marshall Harris III took the inbound pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the game with 1.3 seconds remaining. The bucket forced overtime for the first time in the 2011-12 season for the Eagles.
In the first extra frame the teams managed four points, but it was The Citadel that had a chance for a game winning shot that missed in the final seconds. In the second overtime session, Georgia Southern outscored the Bulldogs 14-8 as the Eagles finished the night with 12-of-13 free throw shooting in the second overtime period.
The Eagles finished the game shooting 47.2% from the field to The Citadel's mark of 54.4%. Both teams were under 30% from downtown with the Eagles at 28.6% and the Bulldogs at 22.2%. Georgia Southern had a major advantage at the free throw line making 24-of-31 (77.4%) while The Citadel was just 6-of-11 (54.5%).
Georgia Southern goes back on the road for the next three contests before closing the 2012 regular season with four of the final six games at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles face Samford on Thursday night on ESPN3.com starting at 8 p.m. (ET) before traveling to Chattanooga on Saturday night.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 23 January 2012 22:38