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GSU all set to Pack the House in Pink

Southern Conference Basketball Standings
Team                  SoCon  All

Davidson               12-1    16-11
Wofford                 10-3    16-10
Chattanooga           10-3    16-12
Elon                         9-3    16-11
Western Carolina      9-4    16-12
Georgia Southern   5-8    12-16
UNC Greensboro     5-8    12-16
Samford                   5-8    11-17
Appalachian State     4-9    8-18
Furman                    2-11    8-18
Citadel                     0-13    4-24

Saturday's Games   
    Appalachian State at Furman, 2 p.m.            Elon at Georgia Southern, 2 p.m.
    The Citadel at Western Carolina, 2 p.m.
    Wofford at Davidson, 7 p.m.

    *Top 5 teams in conference standings earn first-round bye in SoCon tournament

SoCon Women's Basketball Standings
Team                   SoCon  All

Chattanooga            15-0    23-3
Davidson                  9-5    12-13
Furman                     8-6    14-11
Elon                          8-6    12-13
Appalachian State      8-7    11-14
Samford                     7-8    9-17
Georgia Southern    6-8    8-17
Western Carolina       6-9    12-14
Wofford                    3-11    5-19
UNC Greensboro      2-12    6-19

Saturday's Games
    Western Carolina at Davodson, 4 p.m.
    Wofford at Elon, 4 p.m.
    Furman at UNC Greensboro, 4 p.m.
    Appalachian State at Ga. Southern, 4:30 p.m.

    *Top 6 teams in conference standings earn first-round bye in SoCon tournament

    As the regular season winds down and the Southern Conference tournament approaches, Georgia Southern is set for the annual Pack the House in Pink doubleheader.   
    Both teams are coming off convincing wins.
    The GSU men are coming off a 77-61 victory at Chattanooga, and the women saw Anna Claire Knight and Angel McGowan combine for 57 points in a 90-82 win over Davidson on Feb. 15.
    The men (12-16, 5-8) snapped a four-game losing streak on Thursday, and play host to Elon (16-11, 9-3) today at 2 p.m.
    The Phoenix handed GSU a heartbreaker on Feb. 8, when Jack Isenbarger tossed up a 30-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds that led Elon to a 60-59 win.
    “I watched the shot immediately after the game on the bus just to see what happened,” GSU coach Mark Byington said. “I was watching tape again (on Thursday) night and I couldn’t watch that shot again. I just wanted to see it once, and I probably never want to see it again. The kid just hit a great shot.”
    The Eagles played a complete game at Chattanooga on Thursday and will look for more of the same today in the program’s final game in Hanner Fieldhouse as a member of the SoCon.
    “I haven’t had to coach optimism or effort. One of the best qualities about this team is they’re resilient,” Byington said. “They see that they’re playing better and getting better. It’s frustrating when you lose a couple of close games or you get to the second half and you run out of steam and you’re not able to finish the deal. But they see that they’re close and that they’re playing the right way, and I feel like we can get better.”  
    The women (8-17, 6-8) have had a week of practice since the win at Davidson, and it has been productive.
    “We’re seeing that confidence. The important thing is that we kind of have a blueprint of what we need to do to have success,” head coach Chris Vozab said. “We continue to struggle when we don’t execute the little things, and when we put it together for 40 minutes we give ourselves a chance.”
    The Eagles host Appalachian State (11-14, 8-7) at 4:30 p.m.
    The brightest spot in the Davidson win was McGowan, whose GSU career started in the fall with a preseason injury that led to little practice before the season started. McGowan, who has played point guard and shooting guard, scored 26 points at DC.
    “It hasn’t been as easy for her to score and get to the basket when she’s been spending so many minutes at the point. Now she’s coming into her own with confidence at both spots, and it’s been fun to watch,” Vozab said.
    Pack the House in Pink is an annual tradition in Hanner Fieldhouse to raise money and awareness in support of breast cancer research.
    “The fact that we can play a basketball game, draw attention to the cause and maybe help somebody, it’s a great thing,” Byington said.
    Added Vozab, “It’s great that we can be a part of such an important cause.”
    All of the seniors in both programs will be honored before tipoff of each game.

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