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Georgia Southern ladies crush Georgia State
GS Basketball
Georgia Southern's Victoria Stavropoulos, right, helps teammate Tatum Barber celebrate after scoring in the fourth quarter and drawing a foul as the Eagles pull away from Georgia State at Hanner Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 25. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

It was a hard-fought, back-and-forth game between the women’s teams of Georgia Southern and Georgia State Saturday afternoon at Hanner Fieldhouse.

And then the second half began.

Georgia Southern made it into the locker room with a 32-30 advantage before exploding in the third quarter to the tune of a 30-8 run. The Eagles held serve over the final 10 minutes of play and cruised to a dominating 81-56 victory.

The win not only came against an in-state rival, but also snapped a four-game slide for the Eagles.

“I hope it shows us how good we are,” GS coach Anita Howard said. “We talked about strength in numbers. We played everybody, and everybody contributed something. We need to use this win to propel us to put together some other wins along the way.”

Senior guard Tatum Barber led the charge for Georgia Southern (6-12, 3-4 Sun Belt). Barber scored a game-high 21 points and canned five 3-pointers. Nikki McDonald and Mya Burns also reached double-digits for the Eagles, scoring 15 and 12 points, respectively.

“I knew that I had to come out and be my best,” Barber said. “I was just coming out, enjoying the moment, enjoying the crowd and having fun. The crowd's a big part, when you're making shots and they're cheering loud, you get to just enjoy the moment.”

The Eagles seized control of the contest with a white-hot stretch of shooting. Following the media timeout in the third quarter, Georgia Southern connected on 10 of its next 13 attempts from the field. Georgia State helped contribute to the efficiency, coughing up the ball a few times to hand the Eagles seven fastbreak points during the run.

Georgia Southern will try to build off of the newfound momentum as it hits the road next week. The Eagles will take on Coastal Carolina on Thursday before making the long trip up the mountain in Boone, N.C. to face Appalachian State on Saturday.