The Georgia Southern Eagle basketball teams split a pair of games Thursday against Georgia State. The women were able to win easily by a score of 74-49 at Hanner Fieldhouse, while the men dropped a 64-40 decision to the Panthers on the road in Atlanta.
The Georgia Southern women were coming off a pair of losses that saw the Eagles on the wrong side of big runs that got them into holes. Thursday night it was the Eagles ripping off an impressive 15-0 run in the second quarter to help propel them to a 43-28 halftime lead and they’d go on to cruise to the 74-49 victory.
'We needed that,” said coach Anita Howard.“I was glad to see we shook off those last two losses, came out here and put on good showing for the fans in Hanner. Eagle Nation has been showing up for our ladies. I think we shot the three well tonight. We didn't live by the three or die by the three, but instead took the right shots at the right time.'
Georgia Southern was paced once again by leading scorer Terren Ward who had 19 points and nine rebounds. Le’Andrea Gillis had 17 points and helped the Eagles on their 15-0 run with a few three-pointers. Gillis scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half and was 5-9 on three-pointers.
The Eagles owned a 22-5 edge in points off of turnovers against the Panthers and got 54 bench points, compared to just 18 for Georgia State. The Eagles held the Panthers to 33 percent shooting from the field and just 2-16 from the three-point line. The Eagles outrebounded Georgia State 48-34.
'I didn't want us to take the foot off the gas,” Howard said.“Georgia State, to their credit, didn't give up, and they came back a few times. I told our ladies, don't look at the score, play each possession like it was a game-winning possession.'
The Eagles broke a three-game home losing streak with the victory. Georgia Southern improves to 14-6 overall and 6-5 in the Sun Belt play. Georgia State falls to 10-14 overall and 4-7 in the league with the loss.
In the men’s game the Panthers Jamaine Mann tallied 18 points and seven rebounds, and Brenden Tucker made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to ice the contest and send Georgia State to a 64-60 Sun Belt men's basketball win over Georgia Southern Thursday night in Atlanta.
The Eagles trailed 62-59 and had the ball with 6.4 seconds to go, but the Panthers fouled Jalen Finch on the floor before he could get into a shooting motion, sending the fifth-year senior to the free throw line for a 1-and-1. Finch made the first one with 2.5 seconds left and missed the second off the front rim on purpose,but the Eagles were whistled for a lane violation. Georgia State inbounded to Tucker who put the game out of reach.
“We gave up a lot of easy shots on the rim, and on the other end we missed some shots I felt because of lack of physicality,”said Eagle coach Brian Burg. “This is the first time this year we have lost three games in a row and we really need to bounce back. In our locker room guys are hurting, but we are going to have to find a way to regroup and be ready to take on Old Dominion.”
The Eagles were led by Jalen Finch with 16 points. Tyren Morre had 13 points and Kaden Archie added 10 points.