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Eagles stunned by Bulldogs in SoCon regular season finale

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Georgia Southern’s run of 259 games in Southern Conference regular season play came to an end with an 80-63 loss to The Citadel on Saturday night.
    Tre Bussey scored 29 points to match his career-best. The Eagles open the 2014 SoCon Basketball Tournament on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. as the No. 7 seed against 10th seeded Furman.
    “The score doesn’t show what kind of game it was,” said GSU Mark Byington. “We took a step backwards tonight and it’s hard to put it any other way. We lacked maturity and togetherness and it showed. I didn’t where we were in the first half, we didn’t play great, but at the same time our effort was good. The second half was when we took a big step backwards and that’s something that we’re going to have to fix.”
    The Eagles close their final regular season as members of the Southern Conference at 13-18 overall and 6-10 in league play. The Citadel wins its second-straight game to improve to 6-25 on the year and 2-14 in the SoCon.
    Bussey knocked down 12-of-21 from the field and was 4-of-6 from the bonusphere to lead all scorers. Jelani Hewitt was the only other Eagle in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-20 from the field. The senior guard knocked down a pair of free throws and now sits tied with Elton Nesbitt for the school record of 147 free throws made in a season.
    Marshall Harris III scored 11 points to go with a school record 12 assists for the victorious Bulldogs. Matt Van Scyoc dropped 19 points while Ashton Moore added 16 for The Citadel. P.J. Horgan rounded out the scorers in double-figures with 10 points to go with nine rebounds.
    Georgia Southern took a 35-33 lead into the halftime interval, but The Citadel responded out of the halftime locker room, tying the game on their first shot attempt of the second half. The game was close for the first 10 minutes of the second stanza, but a 14-2 run gave The Citadel a 12-point lead following the game’s final media timeout.
    Next up for Georgia Southern is the 2014 SoCon Tournament which begins on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m against the 10th seeded Furman Paladins.

Hewitt 4-20 2-2 10, Baynham 1-1 0-0 2, Bussey 12-21 1-5 29, Holmes 3-7 0-0 8, Matias 1-2 2-2 4, Thomas 1-2 3-4 6, Diamond 1-3 0-0 2, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0, Doyle 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-59 8-13 63.
Harris III 4-5 3-3 11, Koopman 3-4 0-0 6, Moore 5-17 2-2 16, Van Scyoc 7-12 1-1 19, White 3-4 0-0 6, Robinson 1-2 0-0 3, Sledge 1-2 0-1 3, Bray 0-0 2-2 2, Marshall 2-5 0-0 4, Horgan 5-6 0-0 10. Totals 31-57 8-9 80.
Halftime_GSU 35-33. 3-Point Goals_GSU 7-21 (Bussey 4-6, Holmes 2-4, Thomas 1-2, Matias 0-1, Diamond 0-2, Hewitt 0-6), The Citadel 10-24 (Van Scyoc 4-8, Moore 4-11, Sledge 1-2, Robinson 1-2, Harris III 0-1). Fouled Out_Doyle. Rebounds_GSU 34 (Doyle, Holmes 7), The Citadel 32 (Horgan 9). Assists_GSU 7 (Hewitt 3), The Citadel 26 (Harris III 12). Total Fouls_Georgia Southern 16, The Citadel 15. A_1,168.