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Lady Eagles open season at JU
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    Road games are never easy, and the Georgia Southern women’s basketball team doesn’t want to waste any time learning how to win away from home.
    Because they’re located on the southern end of the Southern Conference, the Eagles’ schedule is filled with long trips, and GSU will get its first dose of life on the road in tonight’s 7 p.m. season opener at Jacksonville. From there, the Eagles head to Stetson for an afternoon game Sunday before visiting Georgia Tuesday.
    “For us to be successful through conference, they have to learn to play on the road and live out of a suitcase and a hotel,” GSU coach Rusty Cram said. “So we’ve got to implement that early with some hard schools so they’ll be used to it by the time we get into the conference.”
    Tonight the Eagles will be up against an athletic Jacksonville squad that was the fastest team GSU played last year. It’ll play to Georgia Southern’s advantage if the Eagles can make it a half-court game against the Dolphins, who are coached by former Eagle Jill Dunn, a three-year starter at GSU from 1989-1993.
    “We’re working on a press to slow them down because they are a quick team,” senior guard Tiffany Brown said. “Our sophomores and everybody is stepping up, so it’s going to be a good year.”
    Georgia Southern is looking to improve on last year’s 13-18 (7-11 Southern Conference) mark and will debut a new motion offense.
    “We’re really just ready to get out there and play,” freshman guard Carolyn Whitney said. “We’ve been practicing a lot and been really competitive with each other, so it’s really time for a change.”
    The Eagles conclude their three-game, season-opening road trip Tuesday with a 7 p.m. game at Georgia.
    “When you play them in Athens, you always just hold your breath,” Cram said. “You go up there, and you give them what you’ve got, but they’ll be ranked high and they’ll be waiting for us. They are generally playing for national titles, and you’ve got to be ready to play when you go to Athens.”
    GSU’s home opener is Tuesday, Nov. 20, against Jacksonville State.

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