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Eagles look to make it six straight against The Citadel
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    This is one of those games where the Georgia Southern men know they’re better off not looking at their opponent’s record.
    A youthful Citadel squad visits Statesboro tonight with the inglorious distinction of owning the Southern Conference’s worst record (1-15). Exactly one week ago the Bulldogs brought a 21-game league-losing skid to a halt thanks to a Valentine’s Day win over Western Carolina, and they’ve also scared North Division co-leaders Appalachian State and Chattanooga recently. The Mountaineers needed overtime to down the Bulldogs (6-19) by four points on Feb. 9 in Boone, N.C., and the Mocs slipped out of Charleston, S.C., with a seven-point win last Saturday.
    “In this league, everybody’s capable of winning every night,” GSU senior point guard Dwayne Foreman said before practice Tuesday afternoon. “Every game counts. Since the first time we played them, they’ve gotten really good.”
    The Citadel and Georgia Southern (19-8, 12-5) last met on Jan. 12 when the Eagles picked up a 21-point road win. Tonight, GSU will be gunning for its sixth-straight victory and eighth in nine games.
    The Eagles have flat out embarrassed their last three opponents with their suffocating pressure defense, which held Elon to 15 first-half points in a 59-44 GSU win at Hanner Fieldhouse last Saturday. The 44 points were the fewest surrendered by Georgia Southern in nearly 15 years, and the Eagles are 10-1 in Hanner this year. The Citadel is looking for its first road win of the season.
“Any league game you’ve got to take seriously,” Eagle coach Jeff Price said. “They are young, but they’ve improved. Their freshmen really aren’t like freshmen anymore.”
    Georgia Southern’s defense will attempt to keep close tabs on the Bulldogs behind the arc where they hit 17 3s against Chattanooga and have nailed a school-record 241 baskets this season. Meanwhile, GSU boasts the league’s best 3-point defense, holding opponents to 32.8 percent from long range. Last Thursday, the Eagles shut down Wofford by limiting the Terriers to 2 of 19 shooting from 3-point land.
    “Coach Price always preaches to us about playing defense at the 3-point line because our conference has so many teams with deadly shooters,” Foreman said. “He pretty much makes us guard the 3-point line then worry about everything else after that.”
    “They put up 44 3s in their last game, and they like to spread it out,” GSU guard Willie Powers said. “All of them can really dribble, shoot and pass, so we just have to play really good defensive principles and try to take away their 3-point attempts.”
    A win tonight would give the Eagles their third 20-win season in five years and strengthen their quest to lock up the SoCon’s No. 3 seed for the tournament.
    Note: Georgia Southern faculty and staff with a valid ID will be admitted to the 7:30 p.m. game for free.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.