Ferguson's Heroics Push Eagles Past Chattanooga
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Georgia Southern Men's Basketball took advantage of a career-night from to log a 76-70 victory over Chattanooga in the first round of the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament. The victory was the third this season over Chattanooga as the Eagles advance to a 8:30 p.m. matchup with Elon on Saturday night.
"We did not play very well tonight, but we are found a way to win," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "I'm really proud of and to come out and play their hearts out tonight. They stepped up in the big moment and it got us the win tonight."
Sophomore (Statesboro, Ga.) got into the scoring early, posting the first eight points for the Eagles, he went on to score 26 points in the contest on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Ferguson also led the team with nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals. The scoring total for the consensus All-SoCon performer matched a career high.
Georgia Southern improved to 15-14 this season and are guaranteed a finish at or above the .500 mark this season for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign. Chattanooga is eliminated from the SoCon Tournament and finishes the year at 11-21.
(Miramar, Fla.) had a huge night for the Eagles, scoring 15 points with eight boards and five assists on the night. He was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, positioning the Eagles for the come-from-behind victory. (St. Marys, Ga.) scored 12 points with four assists while Tre Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) posted 10 points of the bench for the Eagles.
Jahmal Burroughs scored 15 points with 13 rebounds to lead the Mocs while Keegan Bell ends his Chattanooga career with 11 points. Dontay Hampton scored 13 points while Ronrico White had 12 off the bench for UTC.
GSU trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half before cutting the margin to eight points at the intermission, 42-34. The Eagles were 36% shooting from the field to open the evening.
Out of the break, GSU needed just two minutes to cut the lead to two points and leveled the score for the first time on the night at the 18:05 mark in the second half. Chattanooga built a seven point lead at 9:09 before Georgia Southern roared back again.
Inside of nine minutes remaining, Hewitt scored five-straight points to cut the Mocs' advantage down to just two points inside of seven minutes. A three-pointer at 6:03 by Drayton made it a 62-61 game in favor of Chattanooga. Drayton finished a fast break on the next possession with a layup to give GSU its first lead of the game at 5:37, 63-62.
Chattanooga would take the lead once down the stretch as the Eagles built a five point lead with 1:07 left and extended it to six to take the final 76-70 victory.
The win was Georgia Southern's first victory in the SoCon Tournament since 2007 and improves the GSU to 4-3 at the Asheville Civic Center.
With the win, Georgia Southern advances to face Elon on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. The Eagles downed the Phoenix in the regular season meeting, 69-63. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com with the call of the game on 103.7-FM The Boomer.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 03 March 2012 00:14