Eagles Exit SoCon Tournament With Loss to Elon
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Georgia Southern Men's Basketball got another prime time performance out of , but it wasn't enough as the Eagles fell to Elon, 65-58 on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament. The loss gives the Eagles a 15-15 mark as the Eagles are eliminated from the league tournament.
"First of all congratulations to Elon, they did a great job," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "I think our program found out the importance of getting a bye in the tournament, Elon looked fresher and that helped them tonight. I think them being the fresher team might have caused us to not struggle from the line."
(Statesboro, Ga.) closed the year with 21 points and nine rebounds on the night as he made a push for All-Tournament honors. He was 7-of-10 from the field in the game and posted a pair of blocks in 32 minutes of action.
Seniors (Gainesville, Fla.) and (St. Marys, Ga.) ended their final SoCon Tournament with a pair of fine performances. Powers scored 10 points with six rebounds while Drayton had nine points and a pair of massive three-pointers in the second half.
"Willie Powers and Ben Drayton are championship people that will be celebrated in this program for years," added Young. "They are heroes that helped rebuild this program over their careers and they will never be forgotten."
Elon's Jack Isenbarger scored 18 points while two others finished with eight points on the night.
For the second consecutive evening, Ferguson opened the night with the first eight points for the Eagles. The scoring, however, would dry up as Elon led by as many as 11 points with 3:34 remaining in the first half. GSU, however, cut the Elon lead to four points at the break as the Phoenix went cold in the final three minutes from the field.
GSU cut the lead to two points in short order out of the break, but Elon would go up by seven points with four minutes gone in the second period. A minute later the Eagles would cut the lead back to two points on a pair of free throws from Ferguson.
A flurry of points by Elon gave the Phoenix a 44-36 lead with 13 and a half minutes left. Ferguson got in the action again just moments later with a thunderous dunk that brought GSU within four points.
Powers came alive with 10 minutes left in the second half, scoring a pair of driving layups to make the score 46-45 in favor of Elon. With nine minutes left in the game, Drayton spotted up for a three-pointer in the corner to tie the game for the first time in the second half.
Quick buckets for Elon strung the lead back to four points with just under seven minutes to play. The Eagles had chances from the free throw line, but missed on each of their three one-and-one opportunities at the line. The Eagles would finish the night going 9-for-19 from the charity stripe to Elon's 12-of-19.
With 6:06 remaining and down by six points, Drayton dialed long distance for his second bucket from the bonusphere in the second half. The basket cut Elon's lead to three points. An old-fashioned three-point play by Elon gave the Phoenix a 59-52 lead going in to the game's final four minutes.
The lead was six for the Phoenix with three minutes remaining as driving layup by Drayton cut the lead to four and gave him nine points. A jumper by Hewitt on the next trip made it a two point ballgame with two minutes remaining. The Phoenix took the lead back to four with 1:45 left on a layup of their own.
A turnover by the Eagles gave the ball back to Elon with 1:04 left. The Phoenix missed their opportunity and the Eagles were primed to cut the lead to two, but an offensive foul by Ferguson put Elon at the line for two free throws. Ryley Beaumont made one to make it a five point game with 20.9 seconds left.
Drayton went coast to coast for the Eagles, but his layup bounced out with 14 seconds remaining. The Phoenix made both free throws at the other end for a 65-58 lead in the final seconds.
The loss ends Georgia Southern's 2012 Southern Conference Tournament run as Elon advances to face Davidson in Sunday night's second semifinal at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. The game starts at 8:30 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 03 March 2012 23:26