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GSU not looking beyond NC A&T

Today's Men's Game
NC A&T (6-9) at Georgia Southern (6-8)

7 p.m., 103.7 FM
Hanner Fieldhouse

Quick Notes:
    Georgia Southern hosts its final non-conference game on Saturday evening at Hanner Fieldhouse against North Carolina A&T. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff with tickets available for just $1 at the gate.
    Eric Ferguson was named SoCon Player of the Month this week with 16 points per game in December. Overall this season, Ferguson leads the Georgia Southern offense with 14.7 points per game. He ranks 35th at GSU with 1,041 career points.

Southern Conference Basketball Standings
Team            SoCon  All 
W. Carolina     2-0  4-9
Samford         1-0  3-11
UNC Greensboro     1-0  2-9
Elon         1-1  8-5
Chattanooga     0-1  5-9
Appalachian St.     0-1  4-8
Team            SoCon  All    

Davidson     2-0  7-6
Charleston     1-0  9-4
Wofford         0-1  6-7
Citadel         0-1  3-8
Furman         0-1  3-9
Ga. Southern     0-2  6-8

Today's Games   
    Princeton at Elon, Noon
    Furman at College of Charleston, 5 p.m.
    NC A&T at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.
    UNC Greensboro at Davidson, 7 p.m.
    Western Carolina at The Citadel, 7:05 p.m.
    Chattanooga at Samford, 8 p.m.

    On paper, North Carolina A&T is a good tune-up game before Georgia Southern’s return to the Southern Conference schedule.
    In reality, it’s more like a dress rehearsal.
    “The only bad thing about North Carolina A&T is that they’re good,” GSU coach Charlton Young said. “They’re not a MEAC-level team. They are a SoCon-level team. They beat Greensboro and they have some good wins on their resume. We’re playing a SoCon team tomorrow that’s well coached, and we’re going to have a SoCon mentality before we even get to Wofford.”
    The Eagles (6-8) face the Aggies (6-9) today at 7 p.m., in Hanner Fieldhouse. It’s GSU’s last game before closing out the regular season with 18-straight SoCon games.
    Young isn’t happy with some of the losses, but a chance at seven non-conference wins — which hasn’t happened since the 2006-07 season — has Young feeling better about the recent struggles.
    “I’ve told this group repeatedly, ‘We’re history makers.’ We got the first ACC win in the history of the school. The Kennesaw State win was the first non-conference road win since 2006,” Young said. “We forget that when we took over the program, we basically had to hit the reset button. We’re making tradition. It’s all new. It’s been a long time since we played a schedule like this and had a chance at seven non-conference wins.”
    The Eagles are coming off of a frustrating, 65-61 loss at UAB in Birmingham, Ala.
    “I’m glad we’ve gotten to the point as a program that people expect us to go onto Conference USA team’s home court and win,” Young said. “We’re about two or three games behind schedule. I would have liked to get one more non-conference game. I definitely would liked to have not given away those two early conference games (against Elon and Samford), and they were early in the season when we were still finding ourselves. We’ve got to steal a few in the SoCon schedule. The Virginia Tech win was one we got back. Now, we’ve got to get two more back and we’ll be right where we want to be. If we can win (against NC A&T) and have seven non-conference wins, with the schedule we’ve played, that would be one heck of an accomplishment.”
    Eric Ferguson continues leading the Eagles in scoring (14.7 points per game) and rebounding (7.6 per game) and was named the SoCon’s December Player of the Month. He received the recognition the same day as the UAB loss.
    “He had 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks (against UAB),” Young said, “and everybody still wants more because his talent level demands that. It’s a tough position to be in.”

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