Strong First Half Pushes Lady Eagles Past Paladins, 66-57
“We had several people that played well tonight,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “It was good to have J’Lisia [Ogburn] in large numbers and it was nice to have both our post players, J’Lisia and Jessica [Geiger] play well. Samantha [Williams] and Brittney [Nelson] also played really well.”
The Lady Eagles scored 36 points in the paint to Furman’s eight as Georgia Southern outshot Furman 46.4 percent to 34 percent from the floor. J'Lisia Ogburn (Dublin, Ga.) tied her career-high in scoring, contributing 17 points (15 in the second half). Georgia Southern won the edge on glass 40 to 32 as Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) pulled down a career-high and game-high eight boards for the Lady Eagles; Shana Booker and Katie Johnson each secured six rebounds for the Paladins who were led by Melissa Liebschwager with 19 points in the game.
Georgia Southern took the lead, 5-3, when senior Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.) nailed a long range three at the buzzer of the 17:50 mark, sparking a 13-2 run over the next four minutes to give the Lady Eagles a 15-5 advantage with 13:05 left in the opening half. Georgia Southern opened its lead to 16 points on consecutive buckets from Navarro and Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.) just under the six minute mark. But a three from Furman’s Liebschwager pushed the score to 26-13 just before Geiger and Ogburn combined to give Georgia Southern its biggest lead of the first half at 17 points with 4:16 remaining. The Paladins closed out the opening stanza with an 8-0 run as the Lady Eagles led 30-21 at the half.
Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) led Georgia Southern at the half with four rebounds and seven points, followed by Geiger with six points. The Lady Eagles shot 46.4 percent on 13-of-28 shooting in the opening half to the Paladins’ 28 percent. Liebschwager paced the Paladins in the first twenty minutes with nine points, while Booker led Furman with five rebounds.
Furman cut the lead down to five in the second half before Georgia Southern went on a 7-0 run to widen its lead back to 12 points, 42-30, at the 14:28 marker. But the lead was short lived as the Paladins chipped away at the deficit and blanked the Lady Eagles on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to even the score at 42-all. With 11:04 remaining, Geiger took a trip to the line, connecting on both to ignite an 11-0 run by Georgia Southern who reopened its lead back to 11 points, 53-42, with just under six minutes of play left.
The Paladins would cut the lead back down to six points twice, but that would be as close as they would get in the remainder of the game as the Lady Eagles secured a nine point win, 66-57. Furman scored 13 points off nine forced errors by Georgia Southern in the second half, but the Lady Eagles scored 22 points (36 in the game) in the paint to the Paladins’ two (eight total).
“We executed really well against the zone for a good length of time tonight,” said Cram. “The kids did a good job tonight.”
Georgia Southern returns to action on Monday, February 16 when they welcome College of Charleston to Statesboro. The Lady Eagles will look to avenge an earlier regular season loss to the Cougars. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 14 February 2009 00:09