Eagles Cruise Past Wofford, 74-53
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the field in the second half and cruised to a 74-53 Southern Conference men’s basketball win over Wofford, Thursday night (Jan. 22) at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles improved to 4-3 in the SoCon, 6-10 overall.
Ahead by two at the half (34-32), Tyler Troupe (Gallatin, TN/Iowa Western CC) hit a jumper but Jason Dawson hit a 3-pointer to make it a one point game with 18:19 remaining. From there the Eagles went on a 12-0 run. Troupe, Julian Allen (Waterbury, CT/Garden City CC), Ben Drayton III (St. Marys/Camden County), two baskets by Sandy Perry (Perth Amboy, NJ/Barton County CC) and a jumper in the lane by Anthony Marshall (Lake Worth, FL/Lake Worth) made it a 48-35 lead five minutes later. That would be the closest Wofford (7-8, 3-3) would get.
Trumaine Pearson (Stuart, FL/Allen County CC) hit a 3-pointer for the final margin.
“We just had a really solid second half. Our first half wasn’t bad, we had an 11-point lead. The only difference was we let them get back in it. There were three or four straight bad shots that led to good shots (for Wofford) on the other end,” said head coach Jeff Price.
Tied at 5-all following a Dawson 3-pointer, Noah Dahlman hit a pair of free throws. Antoine Johnson (Atlanta/Westlake) scored another running shot in the lane to tie the score at 7-7. In fact, Johnson scored five of the team’s first seven points.
Junior Salters hit a 3-pointer but when Kenith Ward (Warner Robins/Northside) hit a jumper and Allen slammed one home Georgia Southern would not trail again.
In the first half Wofford shot 43 percent to the Eagles’ 50. The Terriers made 4-of-9 free throws while GS made all four attempts.
However, the key to the game was rebounding and defense. Wofford entered the game as the SoCon leader in defensive rebounds and second in scoring defense allowing 67 points per game while the Eagles were last in both categories. Georgia Southern out-rebounded the Terriers 37-26 and snapped a streak in which the opposition scored 74 or more points in eight of the last nine games.
The 53 points and 26 rebounds were the lowest allowed by Georgia Southern this season. In fact, those were the fewest points allowed since a 59-44 win over Elon in February of last year, a span of 21 games.
“We’ve just focused so much lately on defensive rebounding. I was really impressed with how we rebounded the ball... we kept them off the glass, which we haven’t been doing. We kept them from second shots and I thought our inside guys held their own,” said Price.
Overall Georgia Southern shot 58.2 percent from the field, the second-highest percentage this year, and held Wofford to a 37.7 percent clip.
Allen recorded his fifth career double-double (and third this month) with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“Julian is a real confident scorer. Again it’s good to see us hold the team at 37 percent and keep them off the glass,” stated Price.
Johnson, making his first start of the season and fourth of his career, netted 10 points. He scored in double-figures for the fourth time in the last five games,
Antonio Hanson (Fort Worth, TX/Independence CC) dished out a game-high four assists to just one turnover in 26 minutes.
Dahlman scored a game-high 16 points off the bench. Tim Johnson added 13 points and six rebounds.
Georgia Southern plays host to Furman on Saturday night (Jan. 24), tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 22 January 2009 00:06