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Lady Eagles cap off long road trip

Lady Eagles cap off long road trip

Lady Eagles cap off long road trip

After nearly a full month of road games and a week of final exams, the Georgia Southern Lady Eagles have one more task away from home.

The Eagles will finally cap off their eight-game road trip with a non-conference tilt with Stetson today at 11 a.m. in DeLand, Fla.

After their rough start, the Eagles (1-8) can finally put all of their focus on the basketball court.

"Now, the focus is just basketball," said GSU coach Rusty Cram about the end of the fall semester, which concluded with final exams last week. "We can rest them, we’ll have their attention longer and now that they’re out of class and we don’t have to hold to the 20-hour-per-week NCAA stipulation. If we need a four-hour practice, we can throw it in there. Not that we’re going to do that, but if we need it, they can do that. The focus is entirely on basketball now, and they’re bodies are going to get some rest."

The stretch has taken its toll. The Eagles played a tournament at Southern Methodist in Dallas, Texas which included an overtime loss to Akron, fell twice on the road to Southern Conference teams, and lost senior point guard Jamie Navarro due to injury for two games along the way.

In games against Florida Atlantic and Chattanooga, GSU saw key turnovers and fouls cost them a late shot at the first road win.

"If we can ever get past that one game to finish, I think it will work wonders for us. We made some crucial mistakes in the final minutes like we’ve done in all these games," said Cram. "It’s been a long road trip, and we’ve played some excellent basketball. We just haven’t done it for 40 minutes in each one of those games, and it’s cost us."

While the guard play has kept the Eagles in ballgames, the young forwards have been the point of attack by the opposition.

"We’re a completely different team than we were last year," Cram said. "That has been defined. Last year we were very post-oriented defensively with [Jessica Geiger and J’Lisia Ogburn], both three-year starters. We can’t get near that post game that we had. We’ve had nobody stepping up in the post game, and that’s our Achilles Heel right now. If we can get one person to answer that bell, we’ll be a pretty good basketball team."

Cram expects more of the same from Stetson (3-4) today.

"People are going to get after our guards," he said. "They know they can double them up right now because people aren’t stupid. They’ll run some tapes on us and they’ll be challenging our guards and trying to completely take them out of the game with traps in the full court and the half court."

Navarro (13.1 points per game) leads the Eagles in scoring entering the game, while Krista Tate leads the team in rebounding with 5.6 per contest.

Victoria McGowan leads the Lady Hatters in scoring at 14.4 ppg. Stetson and GSU have one common opponent this season. Jacksonville defeated the Lady Eagles 72-56 on Nov. 21 and knocked off the Hatters 76-61 on Dec. 2.


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

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