The turnover bug was back, and this time it was Davidson taking advantage.
The Wildcats capitalized on 19 Georgia Southern turnovers to win back-to-back Southern Conference games for the first time this season as they handed the Eagles a 73-66 loss Monday at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Davidson (10-12, 4-7 SoCon) stunned College of Charleston Saturday, 75-64 on its home floor. The Eagles lost to the same Charleston team, 65-61, Wednesday at Hanner.
"It seems like every time we’re about to get over the hump, we play a team that was going through something like we’re going through," said GSU coach Charlton Young. "Davidson was struggling, and upset Charleston at their place, and got that happy feeling. We’ve got to go out, earn it, take it, and find a way for us to get that happy feeling."
The Eagles (4-19, 0-10) never led in the second half, but got within three with 9 minutes and 43 seconds to go in the game.
De’Mon Brooks gave Davidson its largest lead of the game when his layup mid-way through the second half made the score 48-39.
Eric Ferguson responded for GSU with a free throw and a layup to cut it to 48-42.
An offensive foul on the other end set up a 3-pointer by Jelani Hewitt that cut it to 48-45.
Davidson finished out the game from the free-throw line, where J.P. Kuhlman led the way, hitting 11 of 13 attempts on the way to a game-high 20 points.
Hewitt and Ben Drayton each scored 14 points to lead the Eagles, but also combined for eight turnovers. Young has slowed down the Eagles’ offensively in an effort to cut down on unforced errors.
"Every time it looks like we have numbers, I hold us up, because consistent behavior says that we’re going to turn the ball over," said Young. "They played like freshmen tonight."
Six freshmen played in the game, and sophomore Zuri James, a walkon this season, missed the game with the flu.
"I think some of the turnovers may have just come from fatigue – having to play too many minutes tonight and not having that extra guy to keep them fresh," Young said.
Brooks finished with 13 points for Davidson, and point guard Brendan McKillop hit three 3s on the way to 11 points.
The Wildcats shot 46.7 percent (7 of 15) from 3-point range, compared to just 4 of 11 by the Eagles. Hewitt went 2 for 4 and Tre Bussey (11 points) and forward Cameron Baskerville each hit one.
Georgia Southern returns to the road Thursday to face Chattanooga at 7 p.m.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.
Lady Bulldogs 62, Lady Eagles 55
Georgia Southern AMR
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -—The Georgia Southern Women's Basketball team recovered from a 10-point first half deficit but was unable to hold on to its second half lead falling 62-55 at Samford Monday, January 31st. Samantha Williams topped her season and career-high total with 17 points and pulled down seven boards to lead the Lady Eagles in both categories.
Georgia Southern held the Bulldogs well below their 45.5 field goal percentage. Samford was held to 36.0% shooting, but missed only one free throw all night and went 20 for 21 from the line. The nation's leading free-throw shooter, Emily London went 9-9 from the line and scored a game-high 22 points.
Meredyth Frye was the only Lady Eagle to take more than one free throw and drained six of her seven attempts. Frye scored 13 points in 26 minutes, while Jordi Cook, Jamie Navarro and Aishya Wofford added six points each.
Georgia Southern won the tip and Logan Youngblood drained a jumper on the first attempt to give the Lady Eagles an early lead. GSU led by as many as three points in the early going, but the game was quickly tied at 5-5 at the first media timeout. Samford exploded out of the timeout and took a 13-5 lead with 12:21 to play. The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points, but Georgia Southern fought hard to pull within six at the break.
Samford held a 24-18 lead at halftime behind eight points from London. London, who was held to two points in the first meeting earlier this season, drained three field goals including a trey. Williams drained back-to-back jumpers to pull Georgia Southern back within 10 points with 3:29 remaining. The junior guard got hot, scoring six points in the first half, more points than she had in the last five games combined.
Williams also pulled down six boards for Georgia Southern. Wofford added five rebounds, while Danielle Spencer (Atlanta, Ga.) grabbed four rebounds for the Lady Eagles. However, Samford outrebounded the Lady Eagles 23-15 after grabbing four offensive boards on one possession early in the first half. Hannah Dawson led the Bulldogs with six rebounds and tallied four offensive boards.
Georgia Southern opened the second half with renewed defensive pressure and forced two quick turnovers. Williams drained a jumper to pull the Lady Eagles within four, 24-20. GSU fought off an attempt by Samford to extend their lead and tied the contest at 32-32 on a three-point play by Frye. The Bulldogs retook the lead on a quick jumper by Jazmine Powers, but Cook responded for Georgia Southern with a long three from the elbow with 12:21 remaining in the game. Cook's second trey of the contest gave the Lady Eagles their first lead, 35-34, since early in the first half.
The two squads battled for the next eight minutes, exchanging the lead or tying the contest on every possession, before Samford pulled ahead 51-46 after forcing back-to-back turnovers. Georgia Southern did not allow the Bulldogs to pull ahead by more than six points and cut the lead to four points on a three by Williams with two minutes remaining in the game.