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Lady Eagles get the win at Stetson
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    DELAND, Fla. – Seniors Shawnda Atwood and Chequilla Jessie scored a team-high 12 points each to lead the Georgia Southern women’s basketball team to a 67-51 non-conference victory at Stetson, Sunday afternoon at Edmunds Center in DeLand, Fla.
    The Lady Eagles improve to 1-1 on the season, while the Hatters fall to 0-2 overall, giving Georgia Southern a 21-9 all-time series advantage since 1980.
    Atwood also led the team with 10 rebounds, contributing to her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career.  Jessie pulled down nine rebounds while Jessica Geiger had a strong performance with nine points and eight boards.  Junior Ashley Melson scored 10 points shooting 4-of-5 from the field.
    “It’s always great to get that first win, just because it relaxes
everybody,” said head coach Rusty Cram.  “When you start the season this early, everybody’s looking for that win because you know how important that is, to get that under your belt, especially on the road.  You can tell that for the kids it’s almost like a sigh of relief.  So now we pick it up and go with it.”
    In first half action, the Hatters got into foul trouble early, allowing
the Lady Eagles to head to the charity stripe and connect on 8-of-11 attempts from the line.  GSU’s last seven points of the half came from the free-throw line and they held a 28-20 advantage going into the locker room shooting 9-of-33 (.273) from the field, compared to Stetson’s 6-of-23 (.261) shooting.
    In the second half, the Hatters closed the gap to within five points twice in the first 10 minutes and GSU held a 46-41 advantage with 10:38 remaining.
    Then the Lady Eagles countered with a 14-0 run over the next six minutes for a 60-41 advantage with 4:13 on the clock.  The run was sparked by Geiger’s 3-pointer and a jumper, and extended by a 3 off the hands of Atwood to beat the shot clock.
    Georgia Southern took advantage of the Hatters’ 27 turnovers, scoring 31 points off the home team’s miscues, compared the Stetson’s 14 points.
    The Lady Eagles out-rebounded the Hatters 44-38 and made 14 steals, including a game-high four swipes by Carolyn Whitney, who also netted eight points.
    “The kids are starting to believe,” said Cram.  “It was obvious tonight they got their composure back.  They were saying it.  We heard it from the bench.  They were taking ownership.  And when they start taking ownership, that’s half the battle.  I thought we contained them pretty well.  And every time they made a run, we answered it.”