A snapped losing streak, a win at home over a Southern Conference opponent and a single-digit turnover game all happened the last time Georgia Southern took the court, and the conference tournament is right around the corner.
But for now, the Eagles (5-24, 1-15 SoCon) are just trying to wrap up the regular season on a high note.
UNC Greensboro (5-22, 5-11) comes to town today for a 7 p.m. tip at Hanner Fieldhouse, and all GSU is looking for is continued improvement as the regular season wraps up at home Saturday.
"We’re just concentrating on trying to get these two and getting some momentum heading into the tournament," said junior point guard Ben Drayton, the team’s leading scorer at 16 points per game. "I don’t think we’re really looking ahead to the tournament yet. We’re just trying to go one game at a time."
The Eagles average 18 turnovers per game, and the biggest difference in Saturday’s 65-53 win over The Citadel was the turnover battle, which they won 7-12.
"The main thing was, of course, we didn’t turn the ball over," Drayton said. "How we see it with the tournament, we don’t have anything to lose. We’re the underdogs. We just want to go out there and play our game."
Rory Spencer, the team’s only senior, also has nothing to lose. He’d like nothing more than to make a statement as his final regular season — much like the 2010 seniors — only Spencer wouldn’t mind seeing the success spread into the postseason.
Antonio Hanson scored 39 points in his final game at Hanner Fieldhouse in 2010 as the Eagles defeated Elon 98-88, only to fall to Chattanooga in the first round of the 2010 SoCon tournament.
"We always want to send a senior out the right way," said GSU coach Charlton Young. "Last year, senior night was fabulous for Antonio Hanson and that crew, but we didn’t follow it up heading into the tournament. I think Rory is determined not to have that same feeling that those seniors had in the tournament. In order to accomplish that, we need to put ourselves on a three-game roll heading into the tournament."
Spencer, who scored 13 points and blocked two shots in the win over The Citadel, has the same mentality as the rest of the Eagles when it comes to taking each game as they come, rather than thinking about the end of his GSU career.
"Of course it’s crossed my mind," Spencer said, "but I’m really just trying to focus on doing what we’ve got to do in preparation for these last two games and try to get rolling.
Greensboro, which defeated Georgia Southern 87-75 on Jan. 20 to cap off its longest winning streak of the season at three, is led by Brandon Evans, who comes in scoring 11.3 points per game. The only other double digit scorer for the Spartans, Trevis Simpson, averages 11.1.
Drayton and freshman Eric Ferguson (12.2) lead the Eagles.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.