Ashley Rivens Scores Career-High in 74-69 Win Over Furman
“I’m very proud of the team tonight,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “They kept their poise when everything was going against us tonight.”
The Lady Eagles broke away quickly to open the game and held the Paladins to one field goal in eight minutes of action. Rivens poured in 10 points by the second media timeout, as Georgia Southern led 19-9 at the 11:45 mark. The Lady Eagles continued to widen its lead following the 12-minute media timeout and led by as many as 14 twice.
But a comfortable lead was slowly chipped away as Furman cut the lead to within five, 32-27, off two free throws from Melissa Liebschwager. A three-pointer from Rivens gave Georgia Southern an eight point lead with 45 seconds left and a jumper from Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.) closed out the half as the Lady Eagles went to the locker room with a nine point lead, 39-30.
Trips to the charity stripe kept the Paladins alive in the opening stanza, who connected on 15 of 19 from the free throw line off 10 team fouls by the Lady Eagles. Georgia Southern went 3 of 6 from the charity stripe. Rivens paced the Lady Eagles in the opening stanza, chipping in 13 and pulled down four boards, tying with J'Lisia Ogburn to lead the rebounding battle.
The Lady Eagles shot 50 percent in the first half to the Paladins 26 percent. Furman went 6 of 23 from the floor as Lee Stephens led the Paladins in the first half, scoring 12 points and tying with Liebschwager for a team-high three rebounds.
Georgia Southern led by seven points at the first media timeout in the second half, 44-37, but Furman continued to chip away at its deficit and used back-to-back field goals from Candice Dowell to close the gap to within three points, 44-41, at the 13:58 mark. A jumper and made free throw by Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) gave Georgia Southern a seven point lead again, but two three-point shots by Lee Stephens and Sarah Baker made it a one point game, 50-49, with just over eight minutes of play left.
A three from Dowell tied the game a 52-all just under the eight minute mark and Katie Johnson hit two free throws to give Furman its first lead of the game, 53-52, since 19:30 in the first half. But the Lady Eagles answered back and regained the lead off a jumper by Geiger.
The Paladins tied the game for the fourth time at 65-all when Sarah Baker nailed a three with 1:55 left. But the Lady Eagles kept their composure and were sparked by a three from Melson. Georgia Southern closed out the game on a 9-4 run.
“The upperclassmen stepped up,” said Cram. “Just look at [Jessica] Geiger, [Ashley] Rivens, and [Ashley] Melson. They did a great job and kept their composure.”
Geiger (13 points), Rivens (21 points) and Melson (15 points) all posted double figures in the win, chipping in 49 points combined. Melson led the team in rebounding with a team-high six boards. The Lady Eagles shot 49 percent from the floor to Furman’s 36 percent. Stephens contributed 19 points for the Paladins, followed closely by Dowell (14 points) and Baker (12 points). Katie Johnson pulled down a team-high seven boards. Furman shot 73 percent from the free throw line off 22 of 30 made free throws.
Georgia Southern wraps up this road trip with a visit to College of Charleston on Monday, January 19. Tip-off in Charleston is slated for a 7 pm start.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 17 January 2009 00:18