Eagles' Effort Falls Short Against Georgia State
ATLANTA, Ga. - With several Eagles still recuperating from injuries and missing the top defender, Georgia Southern fell to Georgia State, 85-65 at the Georgia State Sports Arena Tuesday night (December 22). Georgia State hit 62 percent from the field for the game and outrebounded the Eagles in the second half 19-9 to take the win. Georgia State senior guard Trae Goldston was the game's top scorer with 28 points as three other Panthers scored in double figures. The Eagles' junior guard Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.) had the game-high total in rebounds with nine.
Senior guard Antonio Hanson (Fort Worth, Texas) tied his season-best total with six three-point baskets and finished as the Eagles leading scorer with 20 points, also matching a season-best. Junior point guard Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.) nearly missed a double-double with his 10th straight game by with double figures in scoring 11 points and eight assists. Senior forward Sandy Perry (Perth Amboy, N.J.) contributed 10 points off the bench for Georgia Southern.
After a solid shooting first half at 50 percent, the Eagles shot only 35.7percent overall and only 30 percent from behind the circle in the second half. Plagued by a scoring drought in the first three minutes of the second period, Georgia Southern picked up only two points while Georgia State's Goldston hit two three-pointers and Dukes had two jumpers to extend its lead to 14. Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) hit a three-pointer and Powers added two free throws to bring the score to 52-43, Panthers, but back-to-back baskets by Goldson, a trey and jumper, quickly halted an Eagle run.
Trading points evenly over the next five minutes to a 70-58 score, the dry spell struck both teams over the next five minutes as Georgia State scored only one basket and had four free throws and Georgia Southern picked up only two free throws by Powers in that span. The Eagles had only five more points, off a three from Hanson and dunk from Perry to account for the final score.
"We have got to get our legs underneath us and recommit to playing defense the way we did at the beginning of the year," said Eagles head coach Charlton "C.Y" Young. "If we give up 60 percent shooting from the field, we are not going to win. That's the problem we have to fix."
Hanson and Goldston were the big scorers of the first half, each with 17 points. Hanson had five three-point baskets while Goldston scored 10 points in a row for the Panthers to help them take a 12-point lead, 31-19, at the 6:11 mark.
The Eagles went on a 7-0 run over three minutes at the end of the first half to cut the least to three points, 37-34. Perry hit a jumper in the paint, then rebounded a Panther miss and set up a fast break basket by Rucker. Hanson hit his fifth trey and then countered a Hampton jumper with one of his own. Goldston hit a three with six seconds left for the six-point Panther halftime lead, 42-36.
Georgia Southern's 55.6 percent three-point field goal percentage from in the first half and 42.1 mark for the game was almost double what the Panthers have allowed this season. Georgia State was ranked number one in the nation (games through Dec. 20) for three-point field goal defense, allowing opponents a success rate of only 23 percent from behind the three-point arc.
Georgia Southern is off for a week, returning to action at Coastal Carolina at Kimbel Arena on Tuesday, December 29th followed by a Saturday, Jan. 2 date at Auburn to being the new year. The Eagles will return to Hanner Fieldhouse to play host to conference foe Chattanooga on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:02