Big Second Half Run Downs Chattanooga 81-61
The Eagles win for the fifth time in their last six outings and move to 17-8 overall and 10-5 in the Southern Conference. The Mocs fall to 15-10 and 10-5.
While Georgia Southern was holding UTC without a bucket, the Eagles reeled off a 26-4 run thanks to seven straight misses by the Mocs. The GSU defense forced nine turnovers over that span.
“I think (the defense) needs to be the key to our basketball team,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “We haven’t been defending well and we’ve talked about it so much over the last week. I thought we were exceptional on the defensive end of the floor tonight. We played a really good game. We played a really good solid, overall basketball game.
Chattanooga hit just 28.6 percent in the first half and 33.3 percent on the night. They came into Saturday the third-most accurate shooting team in the SoCon.
“I looked up and they had 17 points and there was maybe a few minutes to go in the first half, I knew we were defending really well,” said Price. “And then I saw the 28 percent at halftime, it just basically showed me what I already knew. It was just good to see us have a defensive game like that. We haven’t been doing that and I thought we were totally focused in to having the defensive effort.”
GSU freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) ignited the offense in the second half with eight straight points on a coast-to-coast lay-up and two 3-pointers. Senior Anthony Marshall (Lake Worth, Fla.) capped off the run with five straight points, all off UTC turnovers.
“I stressed so much in this game that the first five minutes of each half was going to be absolutely vital because as you know, we’ve had five minutes of halves where we haven’t played well,” Price said. “And that was one of the best things to see is to see us have a good first five and an unbelievable first five in the second half when we pushed the lead up.”
All told Georgia Southern forced 27 turnovers and had 17 steals, both season highs. Sophomore Antoine Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) recorded six steals, one shy of the school record.
Senior Louis Graham (West Palm Beach, Fla.) scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half. Marshall came off the bench and had 16 on a 4-for-7 shooting night from downtown. Powers added 15, including three 3-pointers.
UTC’s Nicchaeus Doaks tied Graham for game-high honors with 17 points and Stephen McDowell had 15.
The Eagles return to action Thursday when they travel to Wofford for a 7 p.m. contest.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 09 February 2008 00:12