Lady Eagles Halt Samford Streak with 67-66 Win
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern regained a one-point lead 67-66 with 19 seconds left to play and then held off a final Samford attempt to defeat the Southern Conference's preseason favorite. The Lady Eagles broke the Lady Bulldogs' seven-game winning streak, dropping Samford to 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the SoCon. Georgia Southern improved to 4-8 overall and 2-2 in the SoCon.
Junior Krista Tate (Atlanta, Ga.) scored the winning basket, her only two points of the second half, then promptly went down to defend on the other side of the court to preserve the win for the Lady Eagles. Junior Meredyth Frye (Fredericksburg, Va.) registered a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and redshirt freshman MiMi DuBose (Jefferson, Ga.) led the Lady Eagles with 17points. DuBose nailed a critical three pointer at the 2:33 mark that gave GSU its first lead in the game since the 17:40 mark of the second half.
Two straight turnovers by Samford after DuBose's trey gave the Lady Eagles two possessions but neither resulted in a score. A Savannah Hill turnaround jumper with 46 seconds remaining gave the Lady Bulldogs their first field goal in five minutes and a brief one-point lead until Tate's final field goal for the one-point advantage, 67-66.
"I thought we came out focused and ready to play right off the bat," said Lady Eagles Head Coach Rusty Cram. "Everybody knew this game was going to be tight. All of our kids knew that Samford would come back. They are too good a team, they have won seven in a row and to beat them is just unbelievable. The kids came out focused these last three games, they haven't lost focus or enthusiasm. The team is really coming together right now. This is one of the best wins I've been a part of in 21 years here."
The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a five-point lead, 50-45, as Hill scored Samford's first 13 points of the second half. Samantha Williams (Kingsport, Tenn.) hit a jumper in the lane and then Frye hit two of her eight free throws to get Georgia Southern back within three points, 52-49.
Georgia Southern's Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) hit a three-pointer at the 11-minute mark, which would be the Lady Eagle's last field goal for nearly seven minutes. Five free throws would keep Georgia Southern within striking distance as the Lady Bulldogs hit only three jumpers and three free throws in the same time period.
With just over four minutes remaining, Williams fed Frye the ball in the lane and Frye laid it in off the glass for the basket and the foul shot to move the Lady Eagles within one. Briana Scott (Dumfries, Va.) went up for a basket and was fouled by Hill, sending her to the line for two free throws. Scott tied the game at 62 with her second free throw attempt, but a foul on a defensive rebound by Ruth Ketcham would put her at the line for two. She hit both to put Samford up 64-62 at the 2:55 mark.
DuBose's three-pointer marked the sixth lead change of the game with Hill giving the Lady Bulldogs their final lead at 66-65 before Tate's winning basket put the final score in the Lady Eagles' favor 67-66.
Navarro scored eight of the Lady Eagles' 12 points early on as Georgia Southern took a 12-2 lead from the tip. Georgia Southern, fueled by Navarro's points and two three-pointers by DuBose, pulled out to a 17-3 lead, its largest lead of the game at 14.
The Lady Bulldogs' determination and three-pointers ate away at the GSU lead. A 13-3 Samford run over five minutes pulled the Lady Bulldogs within four, 20-16, but Georgia Southern would stretch the lead back out to double-digits at 26-16 as DuBose hit the second of her back-to-back threes from the right side. Tate would put the Lady Eagles back up by 11 with a jumper, but a 16-5 run over three-and-a-half minutes by the Lady Bulldogs would tie the score at 33.
The Lady Eagles worked the ball around for Candice Ivy (Roswell, Ga.) who laid in the ball from the left side for a 35-33 lead, but Shelby Campbell answered back with a jumper from the lane. The Lady Bulldogs' Paige Anderson hit two free throws to give Samford a 37-35 lead with 1:07 left in the half. The Samford lead was short-lived, though, as a left-side three-pointer by Logan Youngblood (Sylvester, Ga.) put the Lady Eagles back up by one, 38-37, to end the first half.
Samford picked up nearly half its points on the Lady Eagles' 18 turnovers, but Georgia Southern dominated on the boards, 38-20. Fourteen Lady Eagle points would come from second-chance points with a 14-3 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Lady Bulldogs' Hill went 10-11 from the floor and had a game-high 24 points while tying two other teammates with four rebounds. Campbell had 13 points, 12 in the first half.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 20 December 2010 20:10