Defense, Graham Carry Men's Basketball to Win over Elon
The victory is GSU’s fifth straight overall and the seventh in the past eight outings. They improve to 19-8 and 12-5 in the Southern Conference. Elon falls to 10-16 and 8-10.
The 44 points allowed are the fewest by a SoCon opponent since giving up 41 to The Citadel on March 5, 1993.
“Well, we only allowed 15 in the first half,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “They are a disciplined, low-possession team and I knew the game would be like this. Our defense carried us. They are not going to let you score a lot of points. We still won by 15 because our defense carried us.”
Elon shot 25.0% (7-28) in the opening 20 minutes for just 15 points. Their first-half total was also a GSU season low.
Graham and senior Matthew Fields (Jacksonville, Fla.) each recorded double-doubles, the first time two GSU teammates have done that since Dec. 12, 2006. Graham had 25 points and 11 rebounds while Fields added 14 points and tied his career high with 12 boards. It was Graham’s 30th career double-double.
The pair helped the Eagles dominate the glass 44-28.
“Louis and Matt were huge inside,” said Price. “They did a nice job defending the paint. It’s pretty impressive to hold a team to that percentage and only put them to the line two times. They only took two free throws the whole game. It’s the sign of a team playing smart and playing with their feet and not their hands.”
An 8-0 run in the first half extended Georgia Southern’s lead into double-digits for the first time. Six of those points came at the free throw line and Fields finished it off with a lay-up for a 24-13 advantage with just under five minutes left in the first period.
The Phoenix cut the margin to nine twice in the second half but another 8-0 run put the game out of reach. Four straight points by Graham gave the Eagles a 43-26 lead with 9:27 left.
Saturday marked the fourth straight game an Eagle opponent had scored less than 70 points. Elon’s 32.2 field goal percentage was the lowest allowed since UAB converted only 30.5% on Nov. 17 in the second game of the season.
“We’ve had carry over from our defense the last three games,” said Price. “It started with Chattanooga, we defended great against Wofford. We played great defense again tonight. We understand that that’s what’s going to help us win a championship.”
Montell Watson was the lone Elon player in double-figures with 14 points.
The Eagles return to the court Wednesday when they host The Citadel at 7:30 p.m.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 16 February 2008 00:15