Men's Basketball Entertains Elon Saturday
Georgia Southern (18-8, 11-5 SoCon) have won four in a row and six of their past seven outings, including a 77-66 victory Thursday night at Wofford. The win avenged GSU’s only home loss of the season last month.
The victory came thanks to a career night from senior Louis Graham, who went for 29 points, and a solid defensive effort highlighted by holding the Terriers to just 2-for-19 shooting from long-range, effectively silencing the league’s most accurate 3-point shooting team.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve put an emphasis on (defense) the last couple weeks of practice,” said associate head coach Carl Nash. “We weren’t real happy about some of the games that we played and gave up too many easy open looks. Basically it came down to making sure that our guys understood that in order for us to be a good defensive team we’ve got to pressure people and let everyone know that we’re there and help each other when we do pressure because our post play has to be good inside.”
The Eagles didn’t get their usual steal total but did block four shots and held Wofford to 30.8 percent shooting in the first half and 39.0 percent for the game. Georgia Southern leads the SoCon and is 17th in the nation in steals per contest (9.35).
Graham hit all four of his 3-point attempts and shot 10-for-21 from the field. Since being held to seven points at Davidson on Jan. 3, he is averaging 20.9 points per game and has set a new personal scoring record twice.
Elon (10-15, 8-9) also comes in on a hot streak having won three straight, including a 76-70 home win Thursday over Appalachian State, currently leading the SoCon North. The streak was preceded by a six-game skid that started with a 10-point loss to Georgia Southern.
“They’re really riding a high right now,” said Nash. “They’ve got everything clicking. Their guards have all been playing really well. What’s interesting about them is it looks like they have a different scheme every win. Sometimes their post players are doing a good job of scoring inside; this last game their perimeter players took a majority of their shots and a majority of them were inside the (3-point line). They are a team that does whatever it takes to win right now and it’s obviously working for them.”
Games involving Elon are the lowest scoring among all teams in the SoCon at 129.1 combined points per game. The first GSU-Elon matchup, a 67-57 decision, was slightly less than that average (124).
“We’re at home and we play a little better at home sometimes offensively,” said Nash. “That’s what you want - you want your team to play better offensively at home, so hopefully we can get them going a little bit. They’re such a good defensive team, they’re going to try to take us out of our tempo and play their tempo which is more half-court, and that right there will dictate what happens (Saturday). I think if we allow them to dictate the tempo it could be a game to the end. They’re a quality team so we have to prepare for a situation like that. We have to be a good offensive team in the half-court if that’s the way we have to play.”
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Friday, 15 February 2008 00:29