Strong shooting propels N.C. State past Eagles
RALEIGH, N.C. - When the shots weren't falling for Georgia Southern, defense and determination were weapons it relied on against N.C. State at Reynolds Coliseum Satuday afternoon. The Wolfpack shot 73 percent for the second half, hitting 10-13 at the midway point and finishing with a 64.7 field goal percentage for the game to take the 75-57 win. Georgia Southern forced N.C. State into 15 turnovers, converting them into 28 points. The Eagles had a season low eight turnovers, with only three in the first half.
Wolfpack junior forward Tracy Smith scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the second half with Dennis Horner scoring 16 and Julius Mays adding 11. For Georgia Southern, junior point guard Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) had 14 points as Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.) and Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) contributed 12 each.
The second half featured back-to-back-to-back runs. N.C. State opened the second half with a 10-2 run over the first three minutes of the second half, extending its lead to 19. The Wolfpack was a perfect 5-5 from the field and didn't miss an attempt until the 13:58 mark in the half. Georgia Southern put together a 13-2 run to cut the margin to nine, 43-52, but the Wolfpack responded with a 16-4 run, hitting 7-9 from the floor to take a 21-point lead, 68-47.
"We never stopped fighting, our effort was good and if we had made a couple of shots, we'd be right back in there," said Eagles Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We hustled, scrapped and battled, but it was hard for us to keep our energy and enthusiasm when you don't see the ball go through the hoop."
Down by a dozen for most of the first half, Georgia Southern battled through the larger N.C. State players, but showed resilience and toughness. Sophomore forward Colby Wohlleb (Boca Raton, Fla.) had two steals, first taking a ball from Wolfpack freshman Scott Wood and then fighting Horner for a loose ball in the paint on the N.C. State side. The second steal set up a Spencer layup to cut the lead to eight with two minutes left in the first half. N.C. State took a 31-20 lead into halftime.
N.C. State shot 56 percent for the first half, hitting two three-point goals while Georgia Southern went 0-7 from behind the arc. Georgia Southern had seven steals and only three turnovers while causing eight Wolfpack turnovers. The Wolfpack bench had the advantage over the Eagles, scoring 15 points to 10 for Georgia Southern for the game.
Senior guard Antonio Hanson (Fort Worth, Texas) scored all nine of his points in the second half and added his name to the Georgia Southern top-10 list for career three pointers. Hanson hit two threes to put him at 115 over his Eagle career.
Spencer, Rucker and Troupe had five rebounds each for the Eagles with Rucker adding six steals. Horner had a game-high nine rebounds for the Wolfpack.
The Eagles were without the services of senior guard Antoine Johnson, the top defender on the team. Johnson suffered a foot injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Georgia Southern returns to Hanner for its only home game in December to meet Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, December 15th. Tipoff against the Chanticleers and Cliff Ellis, Coach Young's head coach at Auburn, is set for 7 p.m. The GSU-Coastal Carolina has been designated as a "Toys for Tots" game where Eagle fans can bring a new, unwrapped toy for one-half off the price of a ticket to the game.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 12 December 2009 17:06