Eagles Power Past College of Charleston, 64-58
STATESBORO, GA. - A big three-pointer by Eric Ferguson (Statesboro, Ga.) in the final minute helped Georgia Southern cement a thrilling 64-58 victory over College of Charleston on Saturday night. Hanner Fieldhouse was filled with a season-high 3,025 fans for "Pack the House in Pink" night. The victory moves Georgia Southern to 7-11 overall and 5-3 in league games and into a tie with Wofford for second place in the South Division. Charleston falls to 12-7 overall and 4-4 in league play.
"I am learning more and more about this team every day," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We really changed our approach with the team and it helped us bounce back from a tough road swing. I still feel like we aren't playing up to our full potential, but we are taking positive steps with games like tonight."
Ferguson finished the night with 19 points to go with eight rebounds, three on the offensive boards. The sophomore's big three-pointer in the final minute was backed up with his only block of the night at the other end of the floor to preserve the five point lead.
Senior Ben Drayton III (St. Marys, Ga.) and Jelani Hewitt (Miramar, Fla.) each finished the night with 11 points. Drayton added five assists while Hewitt had four. Willie Powers III (Gainesville, Fla.) was honored for his 1,000th career point which was scored in the season opener prior to tipoff, he went on to lead the team with seven assists and three points. Those points moved him into 27th place all-time scoring at Georgia Southern with 1,191 career points.
Charleston was led by 17 points and 12 rebounds from Antwaine Wiggins. Andrew Lawrence finished with 12 points from his guard position.
Out of halftime Charleston built up a six point margin which was taken down to four at 12:42. A three-pointer by Hewitt sparked an 13-0 run over the next 5:57 that saw Georgia Southern take a 54-47 lead with 7:30 remaining.
The Cougars rallied over the next two minutes to slice the margin to two points with just over four minutes left in the game. The margin would remain static inside a minute until Ferguson drained a clutch three-pointer with 22 seconds remaining. He answered that by blocking a shot at the other end of the floor to preserve a five-point Georgia Southern lead.
"When Eric gets an inside-out three, he can really bury it," added Young. "I was even happier with that block at the other end of the floor, that's what happens when he plays with enthusiasm."
The Hanner Fieldhouse faithful were whipped into a frenzy with nine seconds remaining as Baskerville dropped an alley-oop dunk from Hewitt to put the Eagles up 64-57. A technical foul on the Eagle bench allowed the Cougars to add one more from the charity stripe and make the final score 64-58.
The Eagles finished the night out-rebounding the Cougars 40-30 and shot 65.2% from the field to finish the night at 49.1%. The Cougars shot just 35.7% from the field and posted a 29.2% mark from downtown.
Georgia Southern closes out the two-game homestand on Monday night against the other of the Eagles' low country opponents when it plays host to The Citadel. The game starts at 7 p.m. from historic Hanner Fieldhouse.
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- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 21 January 2012 23:14