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Lady Wildcats wear down GSU

SoCon Women's Basketball Standings
Team                   SoCon  All

Chattanooga            7-0    15-3
Davidson                 6-1    9-9
Furman                   4-2    10-7
Western Carolina    3-3    9-8
Elon                        3-3    7-10
Georgia Southern    3-4    5-13
Appalachian State    2-4    5-11
Samford                   2-5    4-14
UNC Greensboro     1-5    5-12
Wofford                   1-5    3-13

Friday's Scores
    Elon 66, Appalachian State 54
    Western Carolin 60, UNC Greensboro 49
Saturday's Scores
    Samford 59, Furman 58
    Davidson 79, Georgia Southern 66
    Chattanooga 75, Wofford 36

    The Davidson Wildcats sprang to life to score 23 points in the final 7 minutes and turned a tightly contested game into an easy 79-66 win on Saturday in Hanner Fieldhouse.
    The Eagles trailed by two with 7:24 remaining when Angel McGowan hit a 3 to cut the Davidson lead to 56-54, but the Wildcats answered that with an 11-2 run that included three-straight 3-pointers, two by forward Hannah Early. Early scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half.
    Davidson shot 47 percent from the floor in the game, while the Eagles were only 11 of 35 in the second half.
    “We weren’t particularly sharp executing with our halfcourt stuff and it caught up with us,” GSU coach Chris Vozab said. “We had a lot of empty possessions in the second half. We had some good looks and made some plays for each other early, and in the second half we got a little bit stagnant.”
    Guard Laura Murray added 19 points for the Wildcats.
    The Eagles threw the game’s first punch, building an early 22-9 lead on the strength of 3s by Anna Claire Knight, MiMi DiBose and Angel McGowan.
    The three guards led the Eagles (5-13, 3-4 Southern Conference) with 19, 17 and 10 points respectively.
    McGowan’s 3 sparked a 12-1 GSU run that was capped she drove the baseline for a layup and put the Eagles ahead by 13.
“We were locked in to our defensive gameplan and we were playing with a lot of confidence in the first couple of minutes,” Vozab said.
 Forward Briana Jones added 10 points for GSU, and Danielle Spencer grabbed 11 rebounds.
    GSU outrebounded Davidson 43-33.
    The Wildcats (9-9, 6-1) responded eventually to the Eagles’ early momentum, mounting a 17-4 run and tying the score at 26-26 on a steal and layup at the other end by Shannon Eriksson.
    Just before the half, Davidson took a 36-35 lead with four consecutive trips to the foul line, converting 6 of 8 shots, but DuBose put the Eagles ahead by charging hard to the basket and scoring despite a hard foul by Eriksson. DuBose converted the three-point play and gave Georgia Southern a 38-36 advantage at halftime.
 Davidson lived on GSU turnovers in the first half, converting 16 points off of 12 turnovers. The Eagles committed 21 turnovers in the game, resulting in 29 Davidson points.
“They’re a team that doesn’t beat themselves,” Vozab said, “and they took advantage of our mistakes.”
GSU was on fire from 3-point land in the first half hitting 5 of 9 tries, but missed 7 of 10 in the final 20 minutes.
Georgia Southern gets a week off before traveling to Cullowhee, N.C., on Saturday to face Western Carolina at 2 p.m.
NOTES: DuBose hit a pair of 3s in the game to pull within two of the GSU career record (167) set by Svetlana Trjeskal from 1995-99. … Davidson leads the all-time series against GSU 25-19 and has won the last six. The Wildcats have swept the season series against Georgia Southern in each of the last two seasons and won 21 of the last 25 games against the Eagles. … Announced attendance was 452.

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