Men's Basketball Prepares for 2010-11 with Exhibition Win
STATESBORO, Ga. - There were plenty of new faces and a few new uniform numbers for the Georgia Southern Men's Basketball team as it faced Fort Valley State in an exhibition game Friday night at Hanner Fieldhouse. Three freshmen, Marvin Baynham (Miami, Fla.), Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) and Jelani Hewitt (Miami, Fla.) started for the Eagles alongside veterans senior Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) and junior Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) as Georgia Southern defeated the Wildcats 59-55.
Georgia Southern used a 10-1 run in the final 5:46 to erase a five-point Fort Valley State lead and earn the victory. Ferguson scored 22 points in the win with Baynham recording a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Drayton, who moved from the number 22 to 0 after former All-American Chester Webb's jersey was retired last year, added 11 points to the total.
"This game helped us identify the areas where we need to make improvements before next week," said Eagles second-year coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "It was important for us to have a dress rehearsal for these freshmen. We are very young and it showed tonight. We'll gradually get better and we have to take it one practice at a time."
After falling behind 31-26 at the half, the Eagles went on a 10-3 run in the first two and a half minutes of the second period to take a 36-34 lead. The Wildcats held onto slim one-point leads mixed with the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th ties of the game before a free throw by Ferguson put Georgia Southern up 42-41 at the 12:26 mark.
Fort Valley State would put together a 12-3 run over the next five minutes for its largest lead of the night at eight points, 53-45, on the Wildcats' Brandon Davey's layup with 7:40 left to play in the game. Davey's basket would be the last for Fort Valley as it scored only two free throws the rest of the night. Spencer's layup at 5:46 gave the Eagles their first basket in nearly six minutes, FVSU 54-51, though Georgia Southern had five free throws during that stretch.
Spencer came back immediately with another field goal in the lane to pull the Eagles within two points, FVSU 55-53. A Drayton free throw pulled the Eagles within one point and then a tip-in by Baynham with 2:32 left gave them their first lead, 56-55, since the 12:10 mark. A scramble for the ball and ensuing jumpball with 1:34 left, possession Georgia Southern, allowed Ferguson the lean-in for a three-point cushion. Drayton added another free throw for the final margin.
Fort Valley State's Davey had a double double with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Fort Valley as four Wildcats scored in double figures. Ferguson had four blocked shots to go along with seven rebounds for the Eagles. Spencer contributed eight boards and added three blocked shots. Cameron Baskerville (Marietta, Ga.), wearing 32 this season, had seven rebounds with four points.
Georgia Southern opens the 2010-2011 season at Notre Dame next Friday night, November 12th, with an 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time tipoff before returning to Statesboro for the home opener against Carver Bible on Monday, November 15th. Game time in Hanner Fieldhouse on the 15th is set for 7 p.m.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 06 November 2010 00:35