First-Half Turnovers Costly for Eagles Against Samford
STATESBORO, Ga. - Just two days after taking Chattanooga to the brink, Georgia Southern men's basketball waited to find consistency until the second half against Samford at Hanner Fieldhouse, falling 58-50 to the Bulldogs. The Eagles were saddled with 18 turnovers, 12 by steals, while being marginally outshot by Samford (.447 to .442) in the game. Prior to the game, junior Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) was honored by Georgia Southern Athletics Director Sam Baker and eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young for scoring his 1,000th career point at Chattanooga on Thursday night.
"We looked like a team that played with fatigue today," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "That's the unfortunate side-effect of playing three games in a week and having a long trip to one of the games. We missed some easy shots, fumbled balls and committed silly turnovers today. We still had a chance to pick up the win, but we've got to learn how to make that one late stop and close out the game."
Georgia Southern (4-21, 0-12 SoCon) was led by 16 points from Drayton who moved into 34th place all-time scoring with 1,029 career points. He added five assists and five rebounds while leading all scorers. Senior Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) notched eight points with four rebounds and a block while freshman Tré Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) also posted eight points and four rebounds.
Freshman Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) scored eight points with three assists, three rebounds and two steals. Freshman Marvin Baynham (Miami, Fla.) closed the quartet of eight-point scorers with three rebounds. Freshman Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) led Georgia Southern in rebounding with six to go with two points.
The Eagles spotted Samford an 11-point lead in the first half, but cut the lead to a more manageable size with a 10-1 run thanks to four from Baynham and six from Hewitt.
After a Bulldog three-pointer took the lead to five, GSU went on a 6-0 run to take a 22-21 lead with 1:21 left in the opening half. Samford, would score a deuce with 1:02 left that gave them a 23-22 lead going into the halftime intermission. The one-point lead for the Eagles would be their final lead of the afternoon.
Georgia Southern shot .438 from the field but was 0-for-5 from downtown in the first half. Samford went .346 from the field and .333 from the charity stripe in the opening period. Two-thirds of the Eagles' turnovers came in the first half.
Out of the break, Samford took a six-point lead as the Eagles went nearly four and a half minutes without a basket. The lead would grow back to 11-points at 7:16. Both teams went scoreless for the next 2:32 before Bussey knocked down a clutch three-pointer to revive the crowd and cut the lead to eight points.
A successive layup by Drayton brought the lead to six points with 3:44 left. Samford scored two quick buckets to take a 10-point lead but a Baynham layup and a pair of free throws from Drayton at 1:42 brought the score to 50-44.
The Eagles, however, would not be able to reduce the lead under six points as Samford converted all six free throws in the waning minutes.
Georgia Southern out-rebounded Samford 31-23 overall and out-shot the Bulldogs from the free throw line .833 (10-of-12) to .647 (11-of-17).
GSU will take to the road for the regular season's final road swing with two games against Furman (Feb. 10) and Wofford (Feb. 12). The Eagles will then visit Davidson on Feb. 16.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 05 February 2011 16:48