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Off night for GSU women at tourney

Off night for GSU women at tourney

Off night for GSU women at tourney

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —Eastern Illinois forward Sabina Oroszova tallied 20 points, 17 rebounds and five assists, and Georgia Southern shot a shade under 28 percent from the floor as the Panthers posted a 57-50 women’s basketball victory over the Eagles  in the first game of the Hampton Inn Oceanfront Holiday Classic Friday afternoon.
    Anna Claire Knight led Georgia Southern (3-8) with 17 points, and Jordi Cook netted six off the bench. The Eagles were 18-of-65 from the field and 5-of-22 from 3-point range, but three of those triples came inside the final 3:30 after Eastern Illinois had built a 16-point cushion.
    Katlyn Payne recorded 13 points and six rebounds for the Panthers (4-6), and Aaliyah Gaines chipped in 10 points and five rebounds off the bench. Georgia Southern held the Panthers to 38 percent shooting in the game and 33 percent in the first half.
    “I thought our half-court defense was solid throughout the game, and that we executed very well on that end,” Georgia Southern coach Chris Vozab said. “Offensively, we didn’t shoot it well, and I think we got rushed as the game went along. When they made their run in the second half, we panicked and got away from taking shots in rhythm within our offense. Our offensive execution needs to be better and more consistent.”
    The Eagles battled in the first half and trailed just 22-20 at intermission, despite making just 7-of-30 from the field. Lacie Dowling brought GSU to within one point at 26-25 with a triple from the wing just under three minutes into the second half, but Eastern Illinois responded with a 14-2 run over the next 7:12 to open a 13-point cushion.
    Payne started the run with a 3-pointer from the corner, while Oroszova scored five points and Gaines added four. The margin grew to as many as 16 points on an Oroszova layup with 4:25 remaining.

Georgia Southern made a late run as Cook came off the bench to hit consecutive triples. Knight added a third-straight 3-ball, trimming the lead to 47-40, but Payne got free in the corner for her fourth 3-pointer of the game to send the margin back to 10.

After a missed shot on their next possession, the Eagles elected to foul to extend the game. A conventional 3-point play on a rebound and putback for Knight drew GSU to within seven points with 1:28 to play, but the Panthers made 5-of-8 from the line to seal the win.

The Eagles finish the tournament Saturday by taking on the hosts, North Florida, at 3:30 p.m. in UNF Arena.

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