Both teams played out of character, and it only worked out for one of them.
The Georgia Southern Lady Eagles, who were on a nine-game winning streak at home turned it over 21 times and College of Charleston, which entered the game shooting 26.6 percent from 3-point range, drilled nine from behind the arc as the Lady Cougars handed GSU its first Southern Conference loss in Hanner Fieldhouse, 51-39, Wednesday.
"They got it done from behind the 3-point line on our floor. That's what's disappointing," said GSU coach Rusty Cram. "It threw our game plan completely out the window. They didn't shoot [in a 40-39 win] at their place very well, but for some reason tonight, they were able to."
The Cougars (9-18, 6-12 SoCon) hit five of their eight 3-point attempts in the second half while the Eagles (11-15, 8-9) missed 10 of their last 14 attempts.
The Eagles scored just six points in the paint, and the three forwards who saw significant minutes — Danielle Spencer, Brianna Scott and Aishya Wofford — combined to shoot 3 of 10 from the floor.
Charleston committed only 11 team fouls and sent GSU to the line five times.
"When you're playing against the zone for 40 minutes and you don't get something inside, people are just going to pull you further and further into the wings and take away your shooters. That's exactly what happened tonight," said Cram. "Then, when you shoot [3 of 9] from the free-throw line, it just shows you where everything's at."
Playing without injured MiMi DuBose, Krista Tate and RoRo Smith, who average a combined 22 points per game, the Eagles had trouble finding scorers.
Senior Jamie Navarro and junior Samantha Williams each scored 12 points and shot a combined 7 of 17 from 3-point range, but as a team, GSU was just 6 of 24.
Up until the final minute of the game, Georgia Southern's starters did all the scoring. The only points off the bench came when freshman Jordi Cook hit a 3 as time expired.
Charleston's Alyssa Frye led all scorers with 15 points on five 3s, and guard tonia Gerty added 12.
The Eagles return to the court Saturday against the Davidson Lady Wildcats on the road at 2 p.m.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.