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Georgia Southern welcomes Davidson to Hanner

Georgia Southern welcomes Davidson to Hanner

Georgia Southern welcomes Davidson to Hanner


    Georgia Southern is high on talent but short on depth.
    That’s the reason the Eagles have won, and it’s also the reason they’ve lost five of their last seven games.
    “That’s the reality of where we are,” GSU coach Mark Byington said. “We have enough people to win, we’re not depleted to where we don’t have enough to win, but we need everybody to play well.”
    That mean’s that the team’s leading scorers — Jelani Hewitt (20 points per game) and Tre Bussey (16) — can’t have an off night.
    Hewitt scored 9 points in Thursday’s 68-56 loss against UNC Greensboro, and Bussey finished with 12.
    “I thought Jelani got good shots early, but maybe he pressed too much in the second half. But he got some good looks, some shots he normally makes, and I expect him to make them next time.”
    It was a similar story the last time GSU (11-15, 4-7 Southern Conference) faced Davidson. Hewitt and Bussey scored 13 and 11 against the Wildcats in an 82-52 loss on the road on Jan. 25.
    Davidson (14-11, 10-1) blew the doors off the gym in the first half, taking a 53-25 halftime lead on an eye-popping 63 percent shooting.
    “We got up 4-0 and it was never a game after that,” Byington said. “They went on an unbelievable run. They out-toughed us. They hurt us in transition. We lost track of them, lost discipline on defense. We have to respond to adversity better. We didn’t do that in the second half (against UNCG on Thursday), and it’s something we really, really have to get better at.”
    The Eagles get their rematch against Davidson today at 2 p.m., in Hanner Fieldhouse.
    “They’re definitely the best team in the league right now. You can always try to see where you are compared to the best team in the league. We played them once already, and we’ll see what we’ve improved on since then,” Byington said about the Wildcats, whose closest game since they faced the Eagles was a 15-point win over Furman. “I want to make sure we’re going in the right direction. Obviously it’s a huge challenge going against them. They’ve just been blowing people out. You’ve got to withstand runs and withstand guys who know how to play and know how to play on the road.”
    Davidson is led by De’Mon Brooks (18 ppg) but four of five starters average double digits.
    The Wildcats opened the season with an injured Brooks, and limped into SoCon play with a 4-10 record, but have dominated the league. They handed Chattanooga its first conference loss in a 94-51 rout and the only conference blemish came in overtime at Elon.
    Davidson has since won seven games in a row.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-4908.

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