Late Surge Not Enough, Eagles Fall to Wofford, 74-65
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Men's Basketball team trailed by just four points at the intermission but could not keep up with Wofford's hot shooting as the Terriers took the 74-65 decision on Wednesday night at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles were led by Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.), who scored 15 points.
GSU (4-13, 0-4 SoCon) shot 49.0 percent from the floor and had five players score in double figures. Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.), Jelani Hewitt (Oakland Park, Fla.) and Tré Bussey (Lithia Springs, Ga.) all scored 10 points, while Zuri James (Stone Mountain, Ga.) chipped in 14 points.
"We did some things better tonight," said head coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "Our team shot better from the field and from the free throw line tonight. We were down by 17 at one point but we didn't quit fighting."
The defending Southern Conference champion Terriers shot 58.5 percent from the field and were led by Noah Dahlman's 26 points. Dahlman made all 10 of his field goal attempts and posted the majority of Wofford's (6-9, 3-1 SoCon) 34 points in the paint. Two other Terriers scored in double figures with Terry Martin adding 15 points and Kevin Giltner scoring 11.
Wofford came out strong, making 11 points in the first seven minutes including three from beyond the arc. The Terriers would lead by as many as seven at the 9:34 mark.
The Eagles responded in the latter moments of the opening half as Bussey drained a pair of treys to lead the Eagles back to striking distance of the Terriers. GSU shot 57.1 percent from downtown in the opening 20 minutes. The four first-half buckets from the perimeter was the Eagles' highest first-half total of the season.
A three-pointer by Hewitt at 2:19 closed out a 7-0 Georgia Southern run which gave the Eagles a one-point lead heading into the final media timeout of the first half. The Terriers, however, added five points in the final minutes of the half to take a 30-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Wofford extended the lead back to seven but an old-fashioned three-point play by Drayton left the Eagles down by four points after the first media timeout of the second half. Drayton scored five of GSU's first seven points of the second half.
Five consecutive points by Giltner gave Wofford its largest lead of the night at the 14-minute mark. The Eagles cut the advantage down to six two minutes later with a run of three-straight free throws from Hewitt and Marvin Baynham (Miami, Fla.).
The Terriers would extend the lead back to nine before Bussey knifed through the lane for a layup with 10:34 remaining. Wofford ran the lead to 15 points as the Terriers posted eight unanswered points to take a 53-38 lead at the 7:34 mark.
With Wofford up by 14 going into the final minute, Hewitt made a jumper which was followed immediately by a timeout by Young. A quick steal by Ferguson allowed Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) to convert a layup with 53 seconds left and cut the lead to 10 points.
Spencer stole the ensuing inbounds pass and the ball was worked to James who dialed in a three-pointer to bring the Eagles within seven points. GSU committed an intentional foul but the Terriers made both free throws at the other end of the floor and hit two more after an unsuccessful GSU possession to go up 11 points.
James hit his third three-pointer of the night and was fouled with 25 seconds left. He connected on the free throw to bring the Eagles within seven points.
The Eagles, however, would not get any closer as Wofford went 6-for-6 from the line in the final 25 seconds. Drayton scored his final four points of the night on layups in the final 13 seconds.
Georgia Southern, the SoCon's leading stealer of the ball, logged eight of its 11 steals in the second half of the game.
GSU struggled on the boards as Wofford out-rebounded the Eagles by a 26-19 margin.
The Eagles close out a two-game homestand on Saturday afternoon against Furman. Saturday's matinee starts at 2 p.m. inside Hanner Fieldhouse.
The "Voice of the Eagles" Chris Blair will have the play-by-play on 102.9 WPMX FM and online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision beginning at 1:30 p.m. Scores will be provided at regular intervals at Twitter.com/GSScores.
Fans may follow Georgia Southern Men's Basketball by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/basketball or check in at twitter.com/GSAthletics or facebook.com/GSAthletics for short updates. Live stats will be available on the schedule section at the bottom of the main athletics website. Live video is available for the game against the Paladins by subscription for $4.95.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 22:52