Sharpshooting Catamounts Defeat Lady Eagles
Georgia Southern had three Lady Eagles score in double-figures, including a team-high 11 points from sophomore forward J'Lisia Ogburn (Dublin, Ga.), which was one point shy of tying a career-high. Senior guard Tiffany Brown (Waxhaw, N.C.) and junior guard Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) followed with 10 points, apiece.
The Lady Eagles couldn’t overcome WCU’s 33-of-67 shooting from the field, which was led by six Catamounts scoring in double-figures, including a game-high 18 points from Lauren Powell. It was a record day for two Catamounts as Powell and Chevon Keith both surpassed the 1,000-career-points milestone. Keith tallied 10 points, while teammate Jessika Johnson garnered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Georgia Southern falls to 16-10 overall and 12-3 in SoCon play. The loss snaps a five-game win streak that began earlier this month versus UNC Greensboro.
Western Carolina extends its win streak to eight games and improves to 22-6 overall and 14-2 in league action. The Catamounts maintain second place in league standings, behind league-leader Chattanooga. Georgia Southern sits in third place, ahead of Davidson.
“Our disappointment just comes from the fact that we didn’t find the right chemistry until midway through the second half,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “We couldn’t get three on the court at the same time to play good, hard-nosed basketball and that were being productive. (The Catamounts) were unconscious shooting 50 percent from the field and the three-point line. We shot about 15 percent (three-point shooting) in the first half and we couldn’t get to the free-throw line.”
Georgia Southern finished the game shooting 34.3 percent on 23-of-67 field goal shooting, including 2-of-12 (.167) from behind the arc, and made 10-of-12 free throws. Western Carolina hit 4-of-8 from three-point land. The Catamounts dominated the boards, winning the rebounds margin 50-33.
In first-half action, Georgia Southern got out to a quick 4-0 lead off a pair of buckets by Melson and sophomore Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.). Western Carolina countered with an 8-0 run, including two baskets coming off the hands of Jessika Johnson. The Catamounts built up a 10-6 lead at the 15:40 mark.
The Lady Eagles closed the gap to just three points, 15-12, after a basket by junior guard Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.) at the 11:11 mark. But the Catamounts used a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to widen the lead to 12 points, 24-12, and the home team never looked back.
In second-half action, the Lady Eagles were unable to overcome Western Carolina’s 41-23 halftime lead. The Catamounts led by as many as 35 points as part of their 46-point, second-half effort.
“I don’t think anybody played consistent from start to finish,” said Cram. “I just don’t think as a team we stepped up today and played. So it’s hard to single anybody out when you had the kind of loss that we had today.”
Melson tallied a team-high three steals, which is one short of tying her career best. Ogburn blocked a career-high two shots on the day.
“We’re going to shake it off, go home and get ready for Chattanooga, tomorrow, and hopefully have a good crowd there, Monday night, and play for something with a little more passion,” added Cram.
Georgia Southern will return to Statesboro for a two-game homestand to take on league-leading Chattanooga, Monday (Feb. 25) at Hanner Fieldhouse. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 23 February 2008 00:08