By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
UNCG fends off Eagles
UNCG guard Tevon Saddler, bottom left, fends off a foot in the head from Georgia Southern's Tre Bussey and competition from forwards Marvin Baynham, right, Angel Matias, top center, during the second half at Hanner Fieldhouse on Thursday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Southern Conference Basketball Standings
Team                  SoCon  All

Davidson               10-1    14-11
Chattanooga            9-2    15-11
Wofford                  8-3    14-10
Elon                        7-3    14-11
Western Carolina     7-3    14-11
UNC Greensboro     5-6    12-14
Samford                  5-7    11-16
Georgia Southern   4-7    11-15
Appalachian State     4-7    8-16
Furman                   1-10    7-17
Citadel                    0-11    4-22

Thursday's Scores   
    UNC Greensboro 68, Georgia Southern 56
    Appalachian State 74, Samford 68
    Western Carolina at Chattanooga, ppd.

    Freshman Tyrone Outlaw came off the UNC Greensboro bench to score 17 points and Georgia Southern couldn’t find scoring anywhere as the visiting Spartans won 68-56 on Thursday afternoon in a weather-delayed game at Hanner Fieldhouse.
    Outlaw was lights out, canning 5 of 6 3-point attempts and leading all scorers.
    “He gave them confidence that they could win the game,” GSU coach Matk Byington said. “The whole team lit up when he started to make some plays and we went the opposite way. We let mistakes compound by making more mistakes and not digging our way out of it.”
    Georgia Southern’s shooting was miserable from the floor (31 percent), the 3-point line (24 percent) and the free-throw line (52 percent).
    Jelani Hewitt, the Southern Conference’s leading scorer, was locked down to the tune of nine points. Hewitt scored 23 in GSU’s 64-62 win on Feb. 1, at UNCG. Thursday marked only the second time this season Hewitt was held to single digits. He scored 7 at UAB on Dec. 15.
    The Eagles (11-15, 4-7 SoCon) actually led most of the game, but scored only seven points in the final 7 minutes, 51 seconds.
    The Spartans (12-14, 5-6) regained the lead midway through the second half after GSU took its biggest lead of the game. A pair of Marvin Baynham free throws put the Eagles up 38-32, but UNCG went on a 16-4 run that was sparked with a 3-pointer by Outlaw.
    The Eagles committed seven second-half turnovers and made only eight shots from the floor.
    “In the second half it got to the point where our mistakes led to them making good plays, multiple turnovers led to points,” Byington said. “And then we’ve just got to make free throws and layups. We don't need to do anything uncharacteristic, but free throws and layups are big for us and we missed a lot of them tonight.”
    The UNCG run was halted by a Brian Holmes 3, but when the dust cleared the Spartans held a 48-45 lead.
    Outlaw extended the lead 5 minutes later when he drilled back-to-back 3s and put UNCG ahead 61-52.
    The Eagles led most of the first half but didn’t take advantage of any of their opportunities to create separation. 
    They forced eight turnovers but converted those into only six points, and they won the rebounding battle but only scored three points off of eight offensive rebounds.
    Georgia Southern shot 17 3-pointers but made only four, missed four of its first six free throws and shot just 10 of 32 from the floor in the first half.
    The Spartans led early — 12-8 after four lead changes and a tie — but back-to-back 3s by Holmes and Tre Bussey gave GSU a 14-12 lead it didn’t relinquish until midway through the second half.
    “We were getting open shots and sharing the ball, so the first-half offense I really didn’t mind,” Byington said. “I thought we were OK there. It was the type of game we thought it was going to be in the first half.”
    Holmes and Bussey led GSU with 12 points each, and forward Angel Matias added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
    UNCG was paced by Outlaw and freshman guard Tevon Saddler who scored 12.
    Despite UNCG shooting 41 percent in the first 20 minutes, the Eagles led 31-30 at halftime.
NOTES: Both teams came into the game with identical overall and SoCon records, and each was looking to snap a two-game losing streak. … UNCG improved to 13-11 advantage in series. … UNCG had just two road wins coming in.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-4908.