Georgia Southern Can't Overcome Gamecocks Strong Second-half Shooting
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Jacksonville State shot 71 percent in the second half to squash any chance of a comeback by the Georgia Southern men's basketball team as the Gamecocks won 89-67. Five players on each side had in double figures in points with Trenton Marshall of Jacksonville State posting 19 points to lead all scorers. Senior guard Antontio Hanson (Ft. Worth, Texas), the Eagles' leading scorer in last year's meeting, had 18 points, with the Eagles getting 10 points each off the bench from Johntavious Rucker (Decatur, Ga.) and Antoine Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.).
After 14 minutes of back-and-forth scoring and six ties in the first half, Jacksonville State capitalized on a two-minute stretch with a 9-1 run to take a 26-18 lead. The Eagles responded a run of their own as Hanson and Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) each hit a three pointer and Rucker had a tip-in to bring the score to within two, 26-28. Two free throws by Powers knotted the score for the seventh time in the half at 28-28 before the Gamecocks' Nick Murphy hit the second of a two-shot foul for a 29-28 Jacksonville State lead at the break.
Rucker and Hanson each had two buckets in the first 4:32 of the second half as the Eagles were down by three, 36-39. A 16-1 Gamecock run over the next three and a half minutes put Georgia Southern at the wrong side of a 37-55 score. While almost everything Jacksonville State was throwing up was going in the basket, Georgia Southern struggled in comparison in the second period with 38.2 percent shooting from the field. Johnson had all of his 10 points in the last eight minutes of the game as the Eagles chipped away at the Jacksonville State lead. Three-point baskets by Hanson, Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) and Powers countered the Gamecocks' 15 points off six baskets and one trey in the final 3:38, but the lead was too much to overcome.
Powers finished with 13 points and Rory Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) had 10 to round out the Eagles scoring.
"Four games in nine days caught up with us tonight and we definitely weren't the same team that played in our first two scrimmages or our first three games," said Eagle Head Coach Charlton Young. "We are going to get home, get our legs under us and get this going back in the right direction."
Georgia Southern returns home to Hanner Fieldhouse for the first time in two weeks to play Valparaiso in the Legends Classic, Friday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The early game features Troy and Arkansas-Fort Smith with a 5 p.m. tip-off time. The ticket windows at Hanner Fieldhouse will open one hour before the start of the early game. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children and good for both games of each day.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 21 November 2009 22:19