Lady Eagles Drop Heartbreaker to Cougars
The opening minutes of the first half set the pace for the rest of the game as both teams came out strong defensively. A back-and-forth battle ensued in the opening stanza that witnessed five lead changes as both teams shot 30 percent from the floor and pulled down 19 boards apiece.
The Cougars grabbed the lead, 4-2, by the third media timeout off field goals from Tonia Gerty and Deidra Jones. They held the lead until Ashley Rivens nailed a three-pointer at the 14:24 mark to give Georgia Southern its second lead of the game, 7-6. Jumpers from Ogburn and Jessica Geiger gave the Lady Eagles a three-point lead, 11-8, at the second official timeout.
But College of Charleston soon responded and tied the game off a field goal and made free throw from NeShonda McLaurin. Back-to-back treys from Brooke Kotcella and Samantha Williams evened the score at 14-all with 7:11 left in the first half. Jamie Navarro downed a three to give Georgia Southern a one point lead, 17-16, with 6:09 left. But the Cougars recaptured the lead and led at halftime by three, 20-17.
Geiger led the Lady Eagles at half with four points, as Kotcella led the Cougars with five. It was a three-way tie for the rebounding lead as Ogburn, Geiger and Rivens each pulled down three boards. Jones pulled down six boards for the Cougars.
The momentum and physical nature of the game did not subside when both teams returned from the break. College of Charleston held the lead until two unanswered field goals from Ogburn and Melson pushed the Lady Eagles in the lead, 23-22, at 17:41. Four lead changes followed as each team responded with buckets.
The Cougars regained the lead by the first media timeout and continued to widen their margin and took a double digit lead, 40-30, by the third official timeout. Ogburn cut the lead in half, 44-39, when she made four consecutive field goals.
But the Lady Eagles would get no closer as College of Charleston defended its home court and closed out a 10 point win, 52-42. The conference rivals shot evenly in the game, Georgia Southern shot 33 percent while the Cougars shot 34 percent. But College of Charleston went to the free throw line 19 times, connecting on 13. The Eagles visited the charity stripe 10 times (none in the first half), hitting five. The Cougars scored 21 points off 19 turnovers by Georgia Southern.
“We got manhandled tonight,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “College of Charleston played to win, while we didn’t show up to play physically. J'Lisia Ogburn gave us the best effort tonight.”
Georgia Southern returns to action, Saturday, January 24, when it looks to avenge an earlier regular season loss to UNC Greensboro. Tip-off in Hanner Fieldhouse is slated for a 3:00 p.m. start with the Georgia Southern men’s basketball team following at 7 p.m. against Furman.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Monday, 19 January 2009 00:25