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Eagles hope to take 2

Charleston (12-5, 4-1) at Ga. Southern (7-10, 1-3)
7 p.m., 103.7 FM
Hanner Fieldhouse

Quick Notes:
    At halftime of Thursday’s game, Georgia Southern Athletics will honor its SoCon Champions of 2012. The Eagle football, softball, women’s soccer and volleyball teams will be recognized.
    Charleston held on for a 73-69 win over a pesky Citadel squad on Monday night. The Cougars had four players in double figures and a double-double from Adjehi Baru as the sophomore earned SoCon Player of the Week honors.

Southern Conference Basketball Standings
Team                SoCon  All 
W. Carolina            4-1  7-10
Appalachian St.      3-1   7-8
Samford                 3-1  5-12
Elon                       2-2   9-7
Chattanooga           2-2  7-10
UNC Greensboro   1-3  3-12
Team              SoCon  All
Charleston           4-1  12-5
Davidson             4-1   9-7
Wofford              1-3   7-10
Ga. Southern       1-3 7-10
Furman               1-3   4-11
Citadel                0-5   3-12

Thursday's Games   
    Charleston at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.
    Furman at Elon, 7 p.m.
    The Citadel at Davidson, 7 p.m.
    Appalachian State at Chattanooga, 7 p.m.
    Western Carolina at Samford, 8 p.m.

    When Georgia Southern beat Davidson on Monday, the Wildcats had the best record in the Southern Conference.
    Thursday at 7 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse, the Eagles will face the league’s top team again. This time, it’s College of Charleston.
    The strategy for GSU (7-10, 1-3 SoCon) will be the same — play with energy or sit on the bench.
    On Monday, when the Eagles took a 42-40 score and went ahead of Davidson, 53-42, guard Tre Bussey was the only starter on the floor. Coach Charlton Young wanted to send a message.
    “It was big for (forwards) Sam Mike, Kam Dunnican, Marvin Baynham, to step up and produce (against Davidson),” Young said about the players who were in the game while a majority of the starters were on the bench. “If they’re going to play that way, we can say, ‘Hey, if you don’t want to play hard tonight, you can sit.’ As a team, we’re just going to have to beat it in their heads that we’ve got to do the little things strategically. We’ve got to make sure we have a good flow offensively. We’ve got to make sure we make the extra pass. We’ve got to race to the X, we’ve got to have high hands, and the most important thing is to play harder than them. When the ball hits the floor, we’ve got to hit the floor first.”
    In just 18 minutes, starting forward Eric Ferguson scored 14 points, blocked three shots and recorded a pair of steals. It was the team effort — nine different players recorded multiple points and rebounds — that helped snap a three-game losing streak.
    For Young, it’s not just about playing harder, but playing smarter, too.
    “We want to take great shots,” Young said. “There’s some teams in our league that I think struggle because of shot selection. It’s my philosophy to get great shots. We want score in the first seven seconds (of the shot clock) or the last. It’s intelligent basketball. That’s my philosophy, and we’re going to stick with it and take great shots. When we get good early looks, we’re going to take them, but we’re not going to just run up and down this court and jack the ball up.”
    The Eagles are second in the SoCon in shooting percentage (46 percent), and shot 53.1 percent against Davidson.
    Charleston (12-5, 4-1) enters Hanner having won six of its last seven. The Cougars are perfect on the road, with wins against Baylor and Boston College.
    “They’ve got four guys in their program, guys I think can play in the ACC or SEC, that are very athletic,” Young said of Charleston. “We’re going to have to keep them fighting, keep them off the glass and sprint them off the 3-point line.”
    Young hopes having faced teams like Charlotte and Maryland, and having beaten Virginia Tech, has the Eagles battle tested.
    “It’s the reason why we play Maryland and Virginia Tech,” Young said. "Some of the guys that play for Charleston, they can play for Maryland and Virginia Tech.”

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.