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Southern comes up short in Charleston

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Southern comes up short in Charleston

    CHARLESTON, S.C. —Georgia Southern cut a 23-point lead to just six with a minute and a half remaining, but could get no closer on Saturday afternoon at the College of Charleston, falling 69-60 to the Cougars.
    Eric Ferguson scored a game-high 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to counter Charleston’s large early lead.
    “I am proud of the way our team played against adversity tonight,” said GSU coach Charlton Young. “We showed a lot of heart to make the run and come back into the game. We extended our zone defense which allowed us to get in their passing lanes and shake up their offense.”
    Ultimately it was a 16-1 run that allowed the Eagles to cut the Charleston lead to six points with 2:02 remaining. From that point on, however, Charleston had the upper hand and took the win to improve to 19-8 and 11-4 in the SoCon. Georgia Southern is now 11-16 and 5-9 in the league.
    Ferguson tallied 22 points, coming off the bench for the second-straight game. He was 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. C.J. Reed dropped 16 points with a pair of clutch three-pointers.
    Charleston had three scorers in double figures, led by Willis Hall with 18 while Adjehi Baru scored 13 points with 11 rebounds. Overall, Charleston out-rebounded the Eagles 35-31 on the night.
    Charleston led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but a Georgia Southern run late in the period cut the lead to 11 at the break. GSU improved from a poor shooting start to the game to finish the first half with a 10-for-25 mark (40%) from the field. Charleston made four first half three-pointers and shot 43% from the field.
    After being down by 23 points (61-41) with 7:51 remaining, the Eagles got the lead down to 11 points just two minutes later with a 12-0 run. A tip-in on the next possession by Kameron Dunnican brought the lead to nine points and moved the run to 14-0, forcing a Charleston timeout with 4:07 remaining.
    A switch to zone defense helped the Eagles keep the Cougars from scoring a basket for over six minutes. Reed cut the lead to five with 2:20 left, but a pair of free throws by Adejhi Baru at the other end made the lead seven entering the final two minutes of the game.
    Charleston missed on a chance for an old-fashioned three-point play with 45 seconds remaining, but got the rebound and converted it for a layup, giving the Cougars a 67-57 lead. Reed answered with a three-pointer of his own to cut the lead back to seven with 36 ticks left on the clock.
    The Eagles, however, could not make any more hay as GSU fell 69-60 to the Cougars.
    GSU is back at home for the final homestand of the 2012-13 regular season next weekend against Wofford and Furman at the friendly confines. The Eagles face the Terriers on Thursday night at 7 p.m. before facing the Paladins on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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