Eagles Stumble at Charleston, 58-53
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Georgia Southern Men's Basketball hit a speed bump on Thursday night, falling 58-53 to College of Charleston inside TD Arena. The Eagles recovered from a slow start to take a lead with three minutes left in the game. Charleston, however, made its shots down the stretch to take the win and snap the Eagles' six-game winning streak.
"We definitely wanted to clinch a first round bye tonight," said head coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "Unfortunately, we had a little bit of the big-game-jitters in the first 10 minutes and we had to fight back from that throughout the night. We improved in the second half and had a chance to take control of the game, but we didn't. This is just a bump in the road for us and we are going to come back on Saturday night in front of our home fans at Hanner."
Senior (Gainesville, Fla.) led the Eagles with a team-high 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He also dished four assists and grabbed a team-high three steals on the night. Fellow senior (St. Marys, Ga.) scored 10 points with five rebounds and a pair of steals in the penultimate regular season game for the legendary pair of Eagles.
SoCon Player of the Year Candidate (Statesboro, Ga.) picked up a pair of first half fouls and saw just six minutes in the first half. The sophomore responded with six second half points to finish the night with eight to go with seven rebounds. Sophomore (Miami, Fla.) scored four, but had five rebounds as the Eagles out-rebounded Charleston 34-25.
The Cougars were paced by 18 points from Trent Wiedeman. Both Antwaine Wiggins and Andrew Lawrence scored a 10-spot each as Charleston took the victory.
The Eagles got off to their slowest start of the year, going 0-for-8 to open the game with six turnovers in the first eight minutes and four seconds. Ferguson put the Eagles on the board with a flush in the paint off an offensive rebound. The score at 11:56 in the first half cut the lead to 13-2.
Charleston would extend the lead to 25-8 with 8:00 remaining in the opening period before a three-pointer by Drayton cut the lead to 11 again at 5:39. GSU continued to slice into the lead, cutting it to 29-21 with just over three minutes left in the half.
GSU trailed by seven points at the break, 30-23 and responded from the slow to start to shoot 11-of-12 in the final 11 minutes of the half. The Eagles, however, were hampered by 13 first half turnovers, but shot 55% from the field in the first half to Charleston's 44%.
The Eagles had the lead down to three points with 16 minutes remaining. A deuce would cut the lead to one point, 32-31, with 14:18 remaining, but Charleston would roar back to lead 37-31 with 12 minutes left in the game.
GSU continued to close and trailed by two points with four minutes remaining. GSU took its first lead, 48-47 with 3:45 remaining on a trey by Jessie Pernell (North Augusta, Ga.). A runner at the other end put Charleston up by one, but Tre Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) drained a three-pointer from the corner to give the Eagles a 51-49 lead with 2:45 left.
Out of a timeout, Charleston drained a three of their own to go up 52-51 with just over two minutes left. The Cougars added another bucket with 1:25 remaining to take a 54-51 lead into the game's final minute. Hewitt missed a three-pointer off the dribble with 49 seconds remaining as the Cougars got the ball back with a 10-second differential between the game clock and shot clock.
An Eagle foul with 19.3 seconds left put Charleston's Wiedeman at the line for a pair of free throws. He made just one-of-two from the stripe to give CofC a 55-51 lead. Powers took the ball and went the length of the floor, but missed the layup with 11 seconds remaining. Another GSU foul sent the Cougars again to the line, but Charleston would again make one-of-two.
Powers made his layup with 3.5 second to cut the Charleston lead to 56-53. A second came off the clock on the inbound before the Eagles could foul and Charleston's Lawrence put the game on ice with 2.6 seconds remaining, taking a 58-53 lead.
Georgia Southern finished the night with 20 turnovers and shot just 39% from the field in the second half to go 45.8% (22-of-48) from the field. Charleston shot 44.7% overall and 41.2% (7-of-17) from beyond the arc.
The loss sets up a crucial Saturday night contest in the Eagles' bid for a first round bye in the Southern Conference Tournament. The Eagles play host to Davidson on Saturday night needing a win or a loss by Wofford at Furman to clinch the second seed for the tournament. Prior to the game, Georgia Southern will honor Powers and Drayton for their years of service to Basketball program at GSU.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 23 February 2012 22:51