Eagles Win Fifth-Straight with Victory Over The Citadel
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Georgia Southern Men's Basketball extended its winning streak to five-straight games with a 73-72 overtime victory over The Citadel at McAlister Fieldhouse. The win takes the Eagles to 11-4 in conference play and 13-12 overall. The win, combined with Davidson's loss earlier in the day to Charleston puts Georgia Southern just two games behind the Wildcats for first place in the SoCon South.
"We are always happy with wins, but we walk out of tonight's game with a lot of things to work on," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "I told the teams that this was a trap game if they didn't bring the same focus and preparation that they used to dominate Wofford. Unfortunately we didn't come out and take control of the game. We put Citadel at the line 26 times and we've really got to work on our disciple level and eliminating silly fouls."
Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) scored 14 points to lead the Eagles on the night from the field. Senior Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) scored 13 points with six assists and four steals. Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) posted 13 points with five of the Eagles 12 steals on the night. The Eagles forced 19 Citadel turnovers including a pair of five-second inbound calls.
Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.) had 10 points; finishing the night two shy of a career high scoring. Jelani Hewitt (Miramar, Fla.) led the Eagles with nine rebounds and also with nine points, just one in each category shy of his first double-double. Freshman Tyrone Brown (Millen, Ga.) scored six points in 11 minutes of action.
The Citadel (4-11, 1-13 SoCon) was led by 24 points by Ashton Moore. Freshman Marshall Harris III scored 11 points with four assists.
The Eagles were plagued by early fouls in the first half, putting the Bulldogs in the bonus with less than nine minutes gone. The Citadel would lead by as many as 11 points at the 6:23 mark in the first half. The Eagles roared back and cut the lead to three points with just over four minutes remaining in the half. The Bulldogs ran the lead to six points at the intermission with a runner just before the horn, 37-31
Out of the break, Georgia Southern went on a 12-2 run to take a 43-41 lead at the 16:16 mark in the second half. The Bulldogs would go up by five with 11:53 remaining, but The Citadel's leading scorer this season, Mike Groselle, picked up his fourth foul on the play with 10 points on the board.
Powers got into the scoring in the middle of the half, scoring seven-straight points to bring the Eagles level again with The Citadel, 54-54, with 9:27 remaining. The teams stayed close until the Eagles mounted another run to post an eight point lead with 5:11 remaining off a clutch three-pointer by Hewitt.
The Eagles led 69-65 with three minutes left in the game, but a bucket for The Citadel with 2:10 remaining brought the lead to just two points. Both teams traded misses on consecutive possessions and a turnover by the Eagles allowed the Bulldogs to tie the game in the final 10 seconds and force overtime for the second time this season between the two teams.
The Bulldogs scored three-straight points to open the extra frame to take a 72-69 lead with 2:54 remaining, but Powers drove the lane to cut the lead back to one with two and a half minutes left. After a Citadel miss as the shot clock expired, Powers scored again to give the Eagles a one-point lead with a fade away shot. He made a steal at the other end of the floor to give GSU the ball with a minute left.
A foul on Ferguson with 32 seconds remaining gave the ball back to the Bulldogs. A runner for the The Citadel's Ashton Moore in the lane went in and out of the basket as the final horn sounded.
Georgia Southern gets a week off before returning to action against UNCG inside Hanner Fieldhouse. The game on Saturday, February 18th, begins at 7:30 p.m.
"We need to get at least 3,000 fans inside Hanner for next Saturday's game," added Young. "When we get a big crowd inside Hanner, it gives our team a big boost. We're going to need that down the stretch as we are battling for a SoCon Championship."
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 11 February 2012 23:44