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Brown’s 26 leads Lady Eagles to win over Wofford, 74-58

    The Lady Eagles’ desperate search for an inside presence saw a glimmer of hope on Tuesday.
    Junior guard Tiffany Brown set Georgia Southern’s tempo with a season-high 26 points, but it was Chequilla Jessie who provided the much-needed boost in the paint. The junior forward scored a season-best 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, helping the Eagles to their second straight Southern Conference win, a 74-58 victory over Wofford at Hanner Fieldhouse.
    “Chequilla giving us a post game was major for us,” GSU coach Rusty Cram said. “That’s what we’ve been lacking. But it wasn’t just her points. I was so proud of her rebounds too because she had big rebounds at key times. My hat is off to Chequilla.”
    Forward Shawnda Atwood added 14 for the Eagles, who improved to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in the league. The prolific effort both inside and out was the best Cram has seen all year, aside from GSU’s four-point loss to Georgia in November.
    “I just thought between the post and the guards, they complimented each other really well tonight,” said the 11th-year skipper, now two wins shy of becoming the program’s winningest coach. “The complete team effort tonight is what won that ball game.”
    The contest was knotted at 37 at the break, but the Eagles opened the second half with a commanding 11-0 run and held Wofford (6-7, 0-3) scoreless for the first five minutes until Liz Miller hit a 3-pointer at the 14:59 mark. GSU’s halftime adjustments centered around its defense, mainly taking away Wofford’s penetration and forcing the Terriers to shoot along the perimeter.
    “We came out jumping in front of them to stop them going to the middle,” said Brown, who was one-point shy of tying her career high. “That’s what got us the easy baskets and the 11-0 run.”
    For the fifth time in six games, the Eagles held their opponents under 60, which has become a nightly goal for this team. GSU also outscored the Terriers 37-21 in the second half and shot 45.3 percent from the field for the game.
    After GSU’s second-half surge, the Terriers never came closer than seven and the Eagles led by double figures most of the final period.    
    Georgia Southern forced Wofford into 26 turnovers, which the Eagles turned into 29 points.
    Wofford hung around early but Brown kept the Eagles in the mix, scoring 15 points in the first eight minutes, including nine on a trio of 3-pointers from the left wing.
    Georgia Southern led by as many as seven twice in the first half before the Terriers strung together a late 11-2 run to regain the lead on a Laura Depko jumper. Jessica Geiger answered with a jumper to tie the game at the half.
    Georgia Southern begins a two-game road trip Saturday at Elon. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

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