Graham, Foreman Guide Eagles Over UAB
The win improves GSU’s mark to 2-1 on the season while UAB falls to 2-2.
Georgia Southern held the Blazers to just 30.5 percent shooting on the game, including 26.9 percent in the second half alone.
“It was just a great defensive effort by our team,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “We haven’t been known to be a grind-it-out type of team and win a lot of games by scoring 59 points, but maybe that’s the identity of our team this year. This is two straight games we’ve had close games, we’ve played so well down the stretch, the last minute and a half we had to get stops and we got stops. That was the key to the game.”
The Eagles held the Blazers scoreless for 4:42 late in the second half allowing GSU to turn a four-point deficit into a seven-point lead. UAB missed 10 straight shots from both the field and the free throw line.
Georgia Southern made up all but two of those points from the free throw line. GSU’s last field goal of the game came at the 5:47 mark. After freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) hit a jumper, the Eagles made 11 of their next 12 shots from the line.
“It wasn’t by design to not score a field goal, but it was by design to get to the line,” said Price. “That speaks so much for our defense. We don’t score a field goal in the final five minutes and we still win the game. We got stops when we had to get them.”
Twelve of Foreman’s team-high 17 points came in the second half. He also dished out four assists and had two steals.
Graham notched his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with five blocks, tying his career high, which is second-best in school history.
“[Foreman] ran the team like a composed senior and that’s what he is,” Price said. “Dwayne knows he’s expected to do that. I thought he had great composure down the stretch. Our seniors played fantastic. Louis Graham [has had] two tremendous games warrior-like games inside just banging and pounding inside. Thirteen rebounds and five blocks against UAB is pretty impressive. I thought our seniors played really well.”
It was a slow start for the Eagles who didn’t score their first point until Foreman hit a 3-pointer 3:33 into the contest.
UAB suffered a scoring drought of its own getting just a free throw from Walter Sharpe over a 5:34 stretch mid-way through the half which allowed GSU to pull within two, 23-21, after being down 11 at the 10:22 mark. But the Blazers finished the half on an 8-2 run, getting two free throws with 0.7 seconds on the clock to go into halftime up 33-25.
“We had a horrible last 30 seconds on the first half,” said Price. “It’s a four-point game and we give up a turnover and a silly foul with one second to go. I knew we played a good half and we felt pretty good actually, outside of the last 30 seconds, that it was a winnable game for us if we continued to defend.”
Sharpe led all players with 20 points. Robert Vaden added 18 on 4-of-10 shooting from 3-point land.
Georgia Southern completes play in the Glenn Wilkes Classic Sunday against Stetson at 6 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:25