Men's Basketball Drops SoCon Contest to UNC Greensboro
STATESBORO, Ga. Despite 21 points each from Antonio Hanson (Fort Worth, TX/Independence CC) and Ben Drayton III (St. Mary’s/Camden County), Georgia Southern could not overcome a 7-0 run by UNC Greensboro to start the game and dropped an 84-76 decision Saturday night (Feb. 7) at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Mikko Koivisto scored a career-high 26 points off the bench to lead the hot shooting Spartans (4-18 overall, 3-10 Southern Conference), who finished shooting 59.6 percent from the field.
UNCG jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 11-4, but Tyler Troupe (Gallatin, TN/Iowa Central CC) hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four. However, a 9-0 UNCG run made it 20-7. The Spartans pushed it to 14 points but then the Eagles staged a run of their own.
Hanson drained a 3-pointer, Kenith Ward (Warner Robins/Northside) hit a jumper in the lane, Drayton hit a field goal and two free throws, then Troupe sank two free throws and his putback made it 42-36 heading into the locker room.
The Eagles (7-15, 5-9) shot 38.7 percent from the field compared to UNCG’s 62.1 percent. GS made 9-of-12 free throws compared to just two by the Spartans.
“They were making all their shots... I think they were 67 percent in the first half but we were only down by six. We didn’t play very well. We didn’t rebound and defend like we needed to,” said Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Price.
Hanson nailed another 3-pointer to cut the deficit down to two early in the half. When the Spartans pushed their lead to eight, Hanson hit yet another from long distance to make it 50-45. However, UNCG staged a 12-0 run and eventually led by 17.
Drayton hit two more free throws with 1:43 remaining to make it 81-76 but the Spartans hit 3-of-4 free throw attempts over the final two minutes to seal the win.
“We’re down to like six or seven guys, but no one is going to feel sorry for us. Our program has been too successful,” said Price. “We won 20 games last year, when teams have an opportunity to step on us, they’re going to do it. We got to come out and fight from beginning to end if we want to win.”
Hanson matched a season-high hitting seven 3-pointers in 13 attempts. He dished out four assists with no turnovers in 35 minutes.
Drayton shot 50 percent from the field (6-12), both attempts from long-range and 7-of-9 free throws for his third 20-point game this season two coming against the Spartans. The true-freshman dished out seven assists with three steals in a season-high 39 minutes.
Troupe finished with 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Sandy Perry (Perth Amboy, N.J./Barton County CC) added 14 points, one shy of his season-high.
The Eagles finished 44.8 percent from the field but did hit 10-of-19 from long range and committed only 10 turnovers.
Koivisto hit five 3s’ and 7-of-8 from the free throw line for his career-high 26 points. Ben Stywall added 23 points while Damian Eargle turned in a double-double, 15 points/12 rebounds. UNCG out-rebounded the Eagles 35-21.
Now after wrapping up a five-game in 10-day stretch, Georgia Southern is off until Thursday (Feb. 12), traveling to Furman. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 07 February 2009 00:19