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Eagles steal tough road win
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    CULLOWHEE, N.C. — A 14-1 run to begin the second half helped the Georgia Southern men’s basketball team overcome a sluggish first-half start and defeat Western Carolina 69-58 Monday night at the Ramsey Center.
    The Eagles win for the fifth time in the last seven games and improve to 14-7 overall and 7-4 in the Southern Conference. The Catamounts fall to 6-14 and 2-8.
    GSU rallied from a 15-point deficit in the opening 10 minutes of the contest thanks in part to a 2-for-13 shooting performance from the field and six turnovers.
    “We just had to pick up our intensity and our full court pressure and pressure the ball the entire length of the court, and get out and deny and get good ball pressure,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “When we do that our intensity picks up. We thought this was a team we could really take advantage of from a pressure standpoint and we finally started doing it.”
    The Eagles found themselves down 22-7 at the 10:19 mark and did not score their 11th point until 9:19 to go in the half. They were able to eventually tie the score at 29-29 with under a minute left thanks to a 9-0 run, holding the Catamounts without a score for a span of 4:18.
    Georgia Southern came out firing after halftime taking the lead for the first time with 10 straight points, getting back-to-back 3s from freshman Willie Powers (Gainesville, Fla.). The advantage stretched to 10 as senior Dwayne Foreman (Apopka, Fla.) capped off the 14-1 rally with another triple.
    But the Catamounts did not go away and knotted the score at 46-46 with a 10-0 run of their own.
    WCU led 56-53 with 8:10 to play, but GSU finished the game on a 16-2 binge and held Western Carolina scoreless for the final 6:43.
    “We just attacked the basket a lot more in the second half (and) we were a lot more aggressive,” Price said. “Everything was more aggressive in the second half and that’s the way we should be. We should be an aggressive basketball team — when we do that, we score out of our defense and penetrate and get easy looks.”
    Georgia Southern shot 56.6 percent from the floor in the second half while holding Western to a 38.9 percent clip.
    The Eagles were paced by senior Louis Graham (West Palm Beach, Fla.) who led all players with 25 points. He shot 9-for-13 at the charity stripe and added seven rebounds and three steals. He moved into 10th place all-time at GSU in career scoring.
    “It’s been key to our wins,” said Price of Graham’s performances in the team’s last two wins. “I think he’s been a warrior inside. He gets beat on a lot but he’s held his composure well.”
    Senior Matthew Fields (Jacksonville, Fla.) missed just once on the night, converting all four field goals and three of four attempts at the line. He finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
    Western Carolina’s Brandon Giles led the Catamounts with 17 points. Jake Robinson added 12, all from 3-point land, and Negus McKenna had 10 points.
    Next up for the Eagles is a tough contest at Chattanooga Thursday, who currently lead the SoCon North Division.