WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Ike Smith scored his 1,000th career point on Georgia Southern’s first basket of the game, but his final five of the night will wind up being the most memorable as the Eagles topped Wake Forest 85-83 Friday night in Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
It was the season opener for both schools.
Smith’s 3-pointer from the corner tied the game 83-83 with 59.6 seconds left, and Montae Glenn blocked a shot at the other end to give the Eagles the ball back. Coach Mark Byington elected not to call a timeout, and Tookie Brown found Mike Hughes for a 3-point try with nine ticks left. Hughes’ shot rimmed out, but Smith was there for the rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt. The junior calmly sank them both for an 85-83 lead with 3.6 seconds to go.
After a Wake Forest timeout, the Demon Deacons tried to inbound to 7-footer Doral Moore so he could hit a guard cutting for the hoop with a head of steam, but the ball bounced off Moore’s hands. Brown collected the loose ball and fired it into the air as time expired.
Smith finished with 18 points, and Brown scored 22. Mike Hughes, the Winston-Salem native, scored 18 and hit a 3-pointer from the wing that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game with 2:10 to play.
Montae Glenn matched his career high with 14 points, including 12 in the second half, and added a career-high 13 rebounds with eight coming on the offensive end. Jared Hamilton was the fifth Eagle in double figures with 10 points to go along with three boards and two assists, and Coye Simmons, another Winston-Salem native, chipped in four rebounds.
Keyshawn Woods led Wake Forest with 25 points to go along with six rebounds, and Chaundee Brown tallied 21 points and nine assists in his collegiate debut. Bryan Crawford finished with 19 points, and Terrence Thompson tallied nine points and 11 rebounds.
The last two minutes of the game saw three lead changes and a tie, which started with Hughes’ 3-pointer that gave GS an 80-79 lead. Wood answered with a jumper, and Bryant stole the ball from Tookie Brown and hit teammate Chaundee Brown for a fastbreak layup and an 83-80 cushion with 1:15 to go.
The Eagles came right back down and found an open Smith in the corner for the tying triple. The momentum swing was just some of the adversity Georgia Southern had to overcome in the second half. With under five minutes to go, the Eagles had been whistled for 14 fouls compared to three for Wake Forest, and the Demon Deacons reached the bonus with 11:59 left in the game.
“It's a very good win, but what I'm really proud of is that we faced all kinds of adversity," GS coach Mark Byington said. "We had to fight for every single inch of this, and that's what I'm proud of the guys for the most. We have some leadership now, and I don't have to tell guys, 'Hey, we're going to win this game.' Tookie Brown said it in every single huddle, even when we were struggling, he said, 'Guys, we're gonna come back and win this game.'"
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Georgia Southern women's basketball team dropped its 2017-18 season opener at North Carolina A&T by a 60-49 score on Friday evening in Greensboro, N.C.
The Aggies (1-0) avenged a season-opening loss to the Eagles (0-1) last season in Statesboro with the victory. Georgia Southern will return to Statesboro to open up its home slate on Monday, November 13th, hosting the College of Coastal Georgia at 5 p.m. at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Georgia Southern led, 45-39, with 1:40 left in the third quarter on an Alexis Foulks basket, but the Aggies ended the quarter on a 6-0 run, then continued that run into the fourth, holding the Eagles scoreless over a seven minute and 49 second stretch to take a 55-45 lead with what would end up being a 16-0 run. The Aggies finished off the contest, holding Georgia Southern to just one field goal and four total points in the first quarter.