Eagles Fall at Davidson 96-74
DAVIDSON, N.C. - Georgia Southern's perfect start to conference play to open the 2011-12 season came to an end against a hot-shooting Davidson squad on Saturday afternoon at Belk Arena. The Wildcats (10-4, 4-0 SoCon) shot 60.0% from the field to take the 96-74 victory over the Eagles (5-9, 3-1 SoCon). Jake Cohen had a huge night for Davidson with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) earned top scorer honors for the Eagles with 20 points.
"Big credit to Davidson tonight, there is a reason they beat Kansas earlier this season," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "I feel like we learned a lot about Davidson and ourselves in this game. We get them back at our place later this season and we will be ready for that contest."
Ferguson added a pair of blocks to his 20 points in the game, while senior Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) scored 13 with eight assists for the Eagles. Sophomore Jelani Hewitt (Miramar, Fla.) was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to post 11 points, all in the second half.
The Eagles had a big effort from the corps of true freshman. Tyrone Brown (Millen, Ga.) was 4-for-4 from the field to match his career high with eight points while Jessie Pernell (North Augusta, S.C.) added seven points, one off a career high. Kameron Dunnican (Sumter, S.C.) scored twice from the free throw line and Chad Waddell (Evans, Ga.) recorded his first career points with a late layup.
Davidson got off to a hot start in the first half draining five of its first six shot from downtown over the game's first 10 minutes to take a 28-12 lead early. Cohen finished the opening period with 24 points as the Wildcats carried a 53-31 lead into the halftime break.
The Wildcats finished the first half shooting 63.0% from the field. Georgia Southern went 12-of-23 for a first half field goal percentage of 52.2%. De'Mon Brooks finished the night as the Wildcats' other 20-point scorer with 24 points in 20 minutes of action.
Georgia Southern mounted a run to open the second period and cut the lead to 20 points at 17:48 before the Wildcats went up by 27 at the 14:29 mark. The Eagles would make another run just inside the 10-minute mark on the heels of two three-pointers from Hewitt. The buckets cut the Davidson lead to 76-55 (21 points) at the 8:23 mark.
That, however, would be as close as Georgia Southern would get as Davidson finished the game with a big run to take the lead back to 31 points with three minutes remaining. Davidson finished the game shooting 57.1% from the field in the second half and an impressive 11-for-19 (.579) from downtown to take the win.
Georgia Southern matched a season-low with 11 turnovers, but were out-rebounded 36-19. The Eagles forced 14 turnovers and grabbed six steals.
"In order to be a championship team in the Southern Conference, you have to win at home and split on the road," said Young. "We've got a big game on Thursday against Samford to take care of our business at home before we go back on the road for another pair of games."
The Eagles play host to Samford on Thursday night inside the friendly confines of Hanner Fieldhouse. The game starts at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on the Georgia Southern Radio Network.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 07 January 2012 18:14