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Eagles soar to first win

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Eagles soar to first win

Georgia Southern guard Eric Ferguson, top, dunks as Rory Spencer looks on Monday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Although the Georgia Southern Eagles never trailed, Carver College never seemed to go away.

That is, until true freshman point guard Jelani Hewitt started showing off his skills.

Hewitt scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half as the Eagles (1-1) held off the visiting Cougars (0-5) 91-83 Monday in the home opener at Hanner Field house.

"Coach talked to me at halftime and he said, ‘You know, you’ve just got to let the game come to you. Make the extra pass and the ball is going to swing back to you.’ I just let the game come to me, I listened to coach and the right things happened," said Hewitt, who also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a pair of assists. "The biggest thing was, I was efficient."

Hewitt was also the only Eagle to hit a 3-pointer in the game, going 3 for 5 from behind the arch.

"It was a huge step for him, and that is a big part of being a point guard," said second-year GSU coach Charlton Young. "He made some really good decisions in the second half. But, he had two assists and five turnovers. He made some poor decisions, also. It’s a learning and growing experience, and I’m excited about him being in the program."

Bernard Parks hit a pair of free throws with 12:51 remaining in the game to cut the Eagles’ lead to 53-52, but Hewitt took matters into his own hands, sinking seven-straight points to widen the gap to 62-57.

Senior forward Rory Spencer came up big in the paint, recording a career-high six blocks and scoring 18 points. Eight came from the charity stripe, where he went 8 of 10.

Senior Ben Drayton scored 12 points, and freshman Eric Ferguson, a former Statesboro Blue Devil that sat out much of the second half with four fouls, scored 14 points including four dunks.

Georgia Southern out-rebounded Carver 43-34.

James Barbee led the Cougars with 21 points, five assists and five steals.

The Eagles return to action Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Reinhardt at 7 p.m. at Hanner.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.


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