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GSU men hold on at Elon, end skid

Lady Eagles drop seventh straight

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ELON, N.C. — Senior Donte Gennie scored 17 of his game-high-tying 20 points in the second half and Georgia Southern held off a late Elon rally to defeat the Phoenix 68-67 Saturday night at Alumni Gym. The Eagles snap a four-game losing streak and end a run of six straight losses on the road.  Their record improves to 10-10 overall and 3-6 in the Southern Conference. Elon falls to 5-14 and 3-6. “We needed desperately to get a win,” said GSU coach Jeff Price. “More importantly, we needed to win a close game.  We’d lost four in a row and four road games in the last 30 seconds. It’s amazing how you saw them creep back in again and our guys were getting a little tired, thinking ‘no, not again.’  Bottom line, you can’t let a team just score four straight times when you’re up seven or eight because you’re worried about fouling. They came down, made baskets and made it close in the end.” Junior Louis Graham did most of his damage in the first half, when he scored 13 of his 18 points, while grabbing six rebounds. Senior Jimmy Tobias added 10 points and junior Dwayne Foreman dished out six assists. LeVonn Jordan paced the Phoenix with 20 points and 12 boards. Ola Otoyebi and Brett James came off the bench to score 11 and 10 points, respectively. Georgia Southern led by double-digits several times in the second half.  Every time Elon threatened, the Eagles would answer to stay ahead. Six straight points by Elon cut the margin to one, 52-51, but Gennie responded with a triple, sparking a 6-0 run to stretch the lead back up to seven. A Matt Fields free throw put GSU up 63-55 with 53 seconds remaining. Elon made their next four shots while Georgia Southern made just 5 of 8 at the line. Gennie went to the stripe for two shots with nine seconds left, ahead 67-64. He missed the first, but made the second for a crucial point. On Elon’s final trip down the floor, Jordan hit a turn-around trey at the buzzer for the 68-67 final. “We had a really poor start to the second half,” Price added. “That has really hurt us and did the other night against Davidson. We were able to regroup again and push it back up to nine. It was good for our team because the thing we haven’t done well is regroup and build the lead again and we did that a couple of times.” Both teams went through prolonged scoring droughts in the first half. Georgia Southern went over four minutes early on without a point before it was finally broken by Graham. The 10-0 run allowed Elon to make up a five-point deficit and go up 16-11. Georgia Southern takes a day off before playing at UNC Greensboro Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Lady Paladins 75, Lady Eagles 63 GREENVILLE, S.C. – Georgia Southern’s Carolyn Whitney and Tiffany Brown combined for 37 points, but Furman’s bench outscored the Lady Eagles by 15, and the Lady Paladins garnered a 75-63 win, Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena. With the victory, Furman (7-12, 2-8) snaps a three-game losing streak. Georgia Southern (7-14, 2-8) drops its seventh straight game – a school record – and falls into a tie with Furman for last place in the league. Furman’s Kali Holtfreter netted a game-high tying 19 points, making 10 of 14 free throw attempts. She was followed by teammate Sarah Baker, who netted 13 points, going 2 of 2 from behind the 3-point arc. The Lady Eagles were paced by freshman guard Carolyn Whitney who also netted a game-high tying 19 points, hitting 4 of 9 3-point attempts and going a perfect 3 of 3 from the free-throw line. She also tallied four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Junior guard Tiffany Brown followed with 18 points, shooting 8 of 17 from the field while pulling down five rebounds. The lead changed six times in the first half, and though the Lady Eagles made two more shots than the host team, Georgia Southern got into foul trouble early, accumulating 12 personal fouls, and the Lady Paladins went 9 of 13 from the charity stripe. Furman claimed a 24-21 lead going into the locker room and a 23-15 advantage in the rebounds category. “Rebounding is where it starts,” said GSU coach Rusty Cram. “Without rebounds you can’t run the floor, which is our style. We’ve got to run to be able to produce with the type of athletes we have. Rebounds dug us a hole early. We did a good job defensively the first five or six minutes. But they were getting those second and third-chance points because we weren’t blocking out. And then we’d foul them, put them on the line and free throws gave them the lead and kept them in the ballgame.  It seems to be the trend right now that we can’t seem to get out of.” The Lady Eagles took charge to begin the new half, going on a 13-4 scoring run in the first five minutes. The run was sparked by a pair of free throws off the hands of Ashley Rivens and capped by a Shawnda Atwood layup.  With 15:04 on the clock, Georgia Southern held a 34-30 advantage. “The bottom line is we just can’t put together a complete game right now, whether it’s free throws or rebounding.  Tiffany (Brown) and Carolyn (Whitney) did a good job scoring, but we just can’t get consistent scoring out of our guards and then when you don’t have an inside game to go with it, it’s a formula for disaster.” Georgia Southern will conclude its three-game road trip Monday against Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. Tip-off in Benjamin Johnson Arena is slated for 7 p.m.
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