Defense Leads Furman Past Women's Basketball
STATESBORO, Ga. – Kaitlin Murphy scored 15 points, and Furman held Georgia Southern scoreless for the last 5:58 of the game to earn a 56-42 Southern Conference women's basketball victory over the Eagles Wednesday night in Hanner Fieldhouse.
MiMi DuBose led the Eagles (2-12, 1-4 SoCon) with 11 points, and Sierra Kirkland (right) collected a career-high 10 points and seven rebounds. Danielle Spencer added eight points, four rebounds and blocked two shots.
Murphy was 5-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-7 from the free-throw line for the Paladins (5-8, 1-3 SoCon), while Brittany Hodges contributed 13 points and 11 boards.
The Eagles cut a seven-point Furman lead to 46-42 on a Meredyth Frye putback with 5:58 to play. GSU got the defensive stops it needed but hit an offensive dry spell, missing on two odd-man fast-break opportunities, a couple of putbacks and the front end of a 1-and-1 at the free-throw line.
Hodges scored four straight points, Erica Norwood added two free throws and Murphy nailed a jumper to push the margin to 12 points with 1:38 remaining and put the game out of reach.
"They were really pressuring us in the second half, and we were making the right play and trying to take it to the rim but we just weren't able to finish," said Georgia Southern coach Chris Vozab. "I think we got a little frantic and took some off-balanced shots. We always want to be aggressive, but we need to make sure we have more composure and stay balanced."
Murphy scored five points as Furman used a 9-0 run, scoring the last six points of the first half and the first three of the second stanza, to open a 31-26 advantage early in the second frame. That working margin proved to be too much for GSU to make up. Three times the Eagles made it a one possession game, but they could not get over the hump. Georgia Southern was held to 18 percent shooting in the second half.
The Eagles held Furman to two field goals on their first 14 attempts and led 12-9 following a Kirkland layup midway through the first period. Murphy scored the last five points in a 9-0 Paladin run as Furman went ahead 18-12 with 8:27 left in the half.
A rare four-point play by DuBose keyed a 14-4 GSU run as the junior was fouled on a 3-point try and hit the free throw. DuBose added a layup, and Frye capped the run with a free throw to put the Eagles ahead 26-22. Murphy, who finished with 10 points in the frame, scored four in a row, and Teshia Griswold added an elbow jumper to give the Paladins a 28-26 halftime advantage.
The Eagles go back on the road for a pair of league games this weekend. GSU travels to Chattanooga Saturday and Samford Monday.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new "Eagles GATA" mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 31 December 1899 19:00