Geiger Hits Decisive Three to Send Eagles Past Cougars, 57-56
Georgia Southern (19-11) will now face No. 1 Chattanooga (22-8) on Sunday, March 7, in a semifinal match-up. The contest will be played at the Time Warner Cable Arena and will be broadcast live on SportSouth. Tip is scheduled for noon.
Coming out of the break, Charleston slowly chipped away at its six-point deficit and hit five straight to tie the score at 46-all with 7:02 to play. College of Charleston took its first lead, 48-46, of the game at the 6:33 mark in the second half using a jumper from Ericka Williams. Tied for the second time thereafter at 50-all, Williams hit a ‘3’ for Charleston before Samantha Williams (Kingsport, Tenn.) sliced the score to 53-52 with a jumper at 3:55. Both teams were held scoreless over the next two minutes until J'Lisia Ogburn (Dublin, Ga.) returned control to the Lady Eagles with a bucket at 49 seconds.
But 22 seconds later Tonia Gerty nailed a three-pointer from the wing giving the Cougars a two-point advantage before Geiger’s (Stone Mountain, Ga.) infamous trey from the top of the key occurred with 13 seconds. Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) took a trip to the free throw line off a Williams foul, missing the first and intentionally missing the second, as Deidra Jones secured the rebound with three seconds on the shot clock. Jones sailed a pass to Williams out of bounds to seal the victory for Georgia Southern.
“I’m proud of the kids. They hung in there, especially when they [College of Charleston] drained that ‘3’ to go up by two,” said head coach Rusty Cram. “We played smart defense to finish the game. My hats off to them, they played well.”
Three Eagles finished the game in double figures led by Ogburn with 12 points. Geiger tallied 11 points and added eight rebounds to lead the team on the boards, while Navarro added 11 points, five assists and three steals. Krista Tate (Atlanta, Ga.) netted nine points for the Eagles and hit 5-of-8 attempts at the charity stripe.
For the Cougars, Brooke Kotcella tallied game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds, and Williams posted 14 points.
Charleston was held to 33.3 percent shooting for the game and could not reverse an early deficit from the first half. But the Cougars edged the Lady Eagles on the boards, 40-32, with a 19-8 edge on the offensive glass. Those extra possessions turned into 22 second-chance points. CofC outscored Georgia Southern, 26-18, in the paint, but was limited at the free throw line. While GS was 15-of-20 at the charity stripe, the Cougars took only nine total trips, connecting on five.
Georgia Southern came out of the gate immediately pressing the Cougar offense, holding Charleston to 2-of-7 shooting from the floor in the first six minutes, forcing Cougar head coach Nancy Wilson to burn a timeout early. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern hit 6-of-9 from the field to pull out with a 15-8 lead at 14:09. Brooke Kotcella tied the contest at 8-all, before GS went on a 7-0 run using an old-fashioned three-point play by Tate and buckets from Ogburn and Geiger.
The Lady Eagles held a double figure advantage for the majority of the first half, but a 10-2 Cougar run over three minutes late trimmed the score to 29-26 with 2:27 to play. Tate, Geiger and Navarro combined for six points to end the half with a 35-29 lead.
Sunday’s semifinal contest will be the 10th for Georgia Southern and first since 2007. The Eagles improved its SoCon Tournament record to 21-15 and have won 12 of its last 15 games, including the last six straight.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 06 March 2010 21:27