Georgia Southern Travels to Auburn
Georgia Southern (4-9) at Auburn (4-7)
December 29, 2010 • 8 p.m. (ET)
Auburn Arena (Auburn, Ala.)
Auburn holds a 4-0 series advantage over the Eagles. The two programs met last season for the first time in 10 years. The Tigers won last year's game, 85-65, at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in Auburn. Every game has been played at Auburn besides the 1994 matchup when the two teams met in Muncie, Ind., for the Cardinal Varsity Club Classic.
Auburn comes into tonight's game on a one-game winning streak. The Tigers defeated USC Upstate, 68-54, to break a three-game losing streak. Earnest Ross led Auburn in scoring with a game-high 16 points. Ross, along with teammate Josh Langford, tied for the most rebounds in the game with six. Frankie Sullivan finished behind Ross with 14 points and six assists. Ross tops all Tiger players in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.
LAST TIME AROUND
The win against Georgia State broke a four-game losing streak against the Panthers and gave Georgia Southern its first win over Georgia State since the 1992 TAAC Championship at Hanner that advanced the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament. Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) had 19 points against Georgia State to lead the Eagles in scoring for the sixth time this year. Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) led the team in rebounds for the fourth time this season with seven. Ferguson was Georgia Southern's second leading scorer with 17 points. Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) joined Drayton and Ferguson in double figures, scoring 10. Rory Spencer's (Atlanta, Ga.) three assists tied a career high while Zuri James (Stone Mountain, Ga.) scored a career-best six points.
The 74-72 win against Georgia State in overtime on December 22nd gave Georgia Southern a 2-1 record in overtime under Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. All three overtime games have been played at home in Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles lone 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.
BOTH SIDES OF THE BENCH
Tonight's game against Auburn marks the third time that Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young will be watching the series as an assistant or head coach for one of the two programs. Young was an assistant coach under Cliff Ellis when the Eagles were defeated, 93-79, by Auburn in 2000. Last season, Young's Eagles lost to Auburn, 95-75, in his first season as the head coach of Georgia Southern. Coach Young spent seven years at Auburn from 1994-96 as an administrative assistant and 1996-97 and 2000-04 as an assistant coach under Cliff Ellis.
Shooting 50 percent from the field has been the key to winning for the Eagles this season. Georgia Southern is 4-0 on the season when it shoots at least 50 percent from the floor but is 1-4 in games where it allows the other team to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Georgia State, having a 50.9 field-goal percentage, is the only team the Eagles have defeated when the opponent has shot over 50 percent.
Since scoring 26 points against Notre Dame, the most points by a freshman in a first game in Georgia Southern NCAA Division I history. Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) has been writing his name in the Georgia Southern record books. His 14 made free throws against the Irish rank only second to Michael Curry (15) for most free throws made in a game.
Ferguson's 14.1 scoring average currently ranks second all-time for freshmen and with 19 games still left to play, he is on par to break the freshmen record for most points scored in a season. In only 13 games, Ferguson is seven blocked shots away from being tied for fifth place on the freshman all-time blocked shots list. Four more steals will give Ferguson fifth place on the freshman all-time steals list as well.
Auburn is one of three teams that Georgia Southern will play from the Yellowhammer state this season. The Eagles play host to SoCon foe Samford (Feb. 5) later this season and dropped a, 58-68, contest to South Alabama earlier this season.
Georgia Southern is 2-3 against schools from Alabama under Coach Young. The Eagles' two victories came last season against Troy (80-77) and Samford (83-77).
Georgia Southern only has three players on the active roster who participated in last year's contest against Auburn. Ben Drayton (St. Marys, Ga.), Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) and Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) each came off the bench to produce 16 percent of the scoring, the trio combined to score 12 of Georgia Southern's 75 total points.
The trio, averaging 12.6 mins in last year's contest at Auburn, are averaging 27.7 minutes this season. Drayton has tripled his minutes played, averaging 36.4 minutes per game. Spencer and Baskerville have doubled their minutes played, averaging 26.7 and 20.0 minutes, respectively.
A FRESH TAKE
The Georgia Southern freshman class accounts for 62 percent of the Eagles' scoring. Eric Ferguson and Jelani Hewitt average 14.1 and 10.8 ppg, respectively, while the six total freshmen are responsible for 44.3 of GSU's 71.2 points on average.
Georgia Southern has started at least three freshmen in 10 of its 13 games this season. At least three freshmen have started in every win for Georgia Southern this season with four freshmen starting in the win over Brewton-Parker (86-74) earlier in this month.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 28 December 2010 21:38