Furman (4-8, 0-3) at Georgia Southern (2-11, 1-3)
7 p.m., 91.9 FM
Georgia Southern plays its third game in five days as the Eagles host Furman Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse.
The Eagles are in the middle of a stretch where they play five games in 10 days, culminating in this weekend's SoCon games on the road at Chattanooga and Samford.
Southern Conference Basketball Standings
Team SoCon All
Davidson 3-0 6-7
Chattanooga 3-1 10-3
Charleston 3-1 7-6
Elon 3-1 6-7
Samford 3-1 6-7
Appalachian St. 2-1 8-3
Western Carolina 2-2 4-9
Ga. Southern 1-3 2-11
Wofford 0-3 5-6
Furman 0-3 4-8
UNC Greensboro 0-4 3-10
Elon at Wofford, 6 p.m.
Furman at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.
Before winning only the second game of the season — and first Southern Conference game — Monday against the Western Carolina Lady Catamounts, Georgia Southern was getting close.
Two days prior, MiMi DuBose had her game-tying shot attempt roll off the rim at College of Charleston in a 58-56 loss.
The team's leaders — senior Meredyth Frye and DuBose, a junior — were at their best in that one. Frye grabbed a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and DuBose scored a game-high and career-best 27 points.
Aside from them, however, the stat sheet was largely empty.
That’s been the case for the Eagles (2-11, 1-3 SoCon) who, under first-year head coach Chris Vozab, have seen three of the last four come down to the final bucket.
Monday in a 52-50 win over Western Carolina in Hanner Fieldhouse, the difference came from a healthy lineup of role players.
Alexis Sams, a freshman who has started only four games, handled the point for much of the game. Forward Aishya Wofford grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Anna Claire Knight, a sophomore averaging nine points per game, scored 14.
Frye and DuBose, the team’s other two starters, combined for 29 points and six assists.
And each starter kept their energy while comtributing at least 26 minutes in the game.
“It comes from our coaching staff. They keep us up,” Frye said. “They’re right there on the sideline. We can feel it on the court. Anyone who comes in, we’re excited, we’re getting going and we have a positive attitude.”
DuBose hit all 11 of her free-throw attempts, including the last five that iced the game.
“I thought our kids had a confidence and a poise,” Vozab said, “and they believed they were ready to close it out.”
Injuries have plagued GSU throughout the season — 10 different players have started a ballgame — but with SoCon play ramping up and a healthy lineup, the Eagles hope to build off the WCU win today at 7 p.m., in Hanner Fieldhouse, against Furman (4-8, 0-3).
“They’re another team with a lot of weapons,” Vozab said about the Lady Paladins. “We know they run a lot of quick hitters, and it’s going to be another quick turnaround for us.”
Quick turnarounds have been nothing new for the Eagles this season, and all but three games this season have been on the road, so the Eagles hope Monday’s win and an extended stay in Hanner this week will help against Furman.
“We know we can take the momentum against Furman,” DuBose said. “That’s a winnable game —if we play well.”
Although there hasn’t been much to be excited about this year for the Eagles, Vozab hopes the early struggles — losing streaks of two and nine games — have served as learning experiences. Especially the close ones.
“Every time we have been in a situation like that and we haven’t closed the deal, as difficult as it’s been, we learned something for the next time,” Vozab said. “The late-game situations that didn’t work out how we wanted, we addressed them in practice so we’d feel more comfortable next time around.”
Furman, which is led by Teshia Griswold’s 14.3 points per game, is coming off a 66-52 loss against Appalachian State on Monday.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.