Lady Eagles Defeat Jacksonville State in Home Opener
STATESBORO, Ga. The Georgia Southern women’s basketball team took advantage of a second half scoring surge to secure a 63-44 home-opening win versus Jacksonville State, Tuesday evening (Nov. 20), in Hanner Fieldhouse.
With the non-conference victory, the Lady Eagles improve to 2-2 on the season, while Jacksonville State falls to 1-2 overall.
Pacing the team was senior guard Shawnda Atwood (Pensacola, Fla.) and junior guard Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) combining for 27 points and 17 rebounds. Atwood scored a game-high 16 points, matching her season-high set a week ago at Georgia (Nov. 13). She pulled down six rebounds on the day. Melson followed with her first career a double-double performance, tallying 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Gamecocks were led by Jolie Efezokhae with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Jacksonville State put in the first bucket off the hands of Danielle Beneby just over two minutes into the game, before sophomore forward Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.) tied the game 2-2 with the team’s first bucket on a baseline jumper with 17:36 on the clock.
The lead changed three times before Geiger’s three-pointer put the Lady Eagles up for good at the 7:19 mark, giving GSU a 16-15 lead.
Georgia Southern led 27-19 at the half, shooting 11-of-33 from the field, compared to JSU’s 9-of-27 field goal performance. Geiger led the team with seven points while Efezokhae and Beneby dropped six, apiece.
The Lady Eagles came out strong after the break, going on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 31-19 a little over two minutes into the second half.
The Gamecocks were able to cut the deficit to six points with 9:40 remaining, 40-34.
But Atwood, who tallied 12 points in the second stanza, sparked a 19-1 GSU scoring run to give the Lady Eagles a 26-point lead their largest of the game with 4:14 on the clock. Atwood scored eight of her 16 points during the run.
The Gamecocks were able to only cut the margin down to 19 points as time expired and the Lady Eagles picked up their second win over Jacksonville State in six meetings.
Georgia Southern got a lot of help from its reserves as it held a 20-10 advantage over the Gamecocks in bench points. Georgia Southern also led JSU in rebounds, 51-35.
Junior guard Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.) tallied a team-best six assists on the evening, while sophomore guard Carolyn Whitney (Duluth, Ga.) dished out five helpers.
GSU finished the game shooting 27-of-71 from the field, compared to JSU’s 18-of-54 field goal shooting.
Georgia Southern’s time at home is short as it travels to San Antonio, Texas to play in the UTSA Classic, Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24. The Lady Eagles will first match up with Arkansas, Friday at 6 p.m. (ET), and will turn around the next day to face tournament host UTSA, Saturday at 5 p.m. (ET).
Category: Women's Basketball
Published on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 00:14