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Morgan St. comes back to top Lady Eagles
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    RICHMOND, Va. – Morgan State regained the lead with 1:54 remaining in the contest and sank its last five free throws to secure a 64-58 win over Georgia Southern Friday night in game two of the Virginia Commonwealth University Christmas tournament at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.
    Sophomore Jessica Geiger scored a career-high 12 points on the night, hitting 4-of-10 from the field, including a three-pointer for the Eagles.  Junior guard Ashley Rivens came off the bench and followed with nine points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field, both field goals coming from behind the three-point arc.  Senior guard Shawnda Atwood tallied a team-high 10 rebounds and dropped seven points.
    The Bears had a pair of players scoring in double-figures in Corin Adams (18) and Aaries Reed (11), both combining for 13-of-16 from the free-throw line.
    Morgan State quickly produced a 16-6 advantage in the first six minutes.  But the Lady Eagles turned the momentum around and went on a 19-8 scoring run over the next 10 minutes sparked by an Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) layup and capped by a go-ahead three-pointer by Nya Daley (Toronto, Ont.).  The triple secured a 25-24 Lady Eagles lead with 5:47 on the clock.
    Georgia Southern continued to build onto the momentum and secured a 10-point lead, 32-26, to finish off the first half.  The Lady Eagles scored the last six points before going into the locker room, capped by a pair of free-throws by senior forward Christa Waterman.
    “The bench came out and bailed us out again,” said head coach Rusty Cram.  “My hat’s off to them for coming back the way they did and taking the lead.”
    In second-half action, the Bears slowly chipped away at the 10-point GSU advantage and managed to take the lead back, 42-41, with 12:44 on the clock.  But a go-ahead triple by Rivens gave the Lady Eagles a two point advantage, 44-42, just moments later.
    Georgia Southern built up a six-point advantage, 52-46, capped by a pair of free throws by Geiger at the 8:29 mark.
    Morgan State’s Adams buried a triple to tie up the contest 55-55 with 2:30 on the clock, and although Rivens sank one of a pair of free-throw attempts to take the lead, the Bears stole the advantage for good with a Tamara Rogers bucket with 1:54 on the clock.
    “The last four or five minutes of the ball game was the difference in the game,” said Cram.  “We missed free throws, they made theirs.  Down the stretch they ended up shooting 25-of-30 from the free-throw line.  You can’t win ballgames like that.  Their heart was there, but I thought we just made poor decisions those last three or four minutes and put them on the line and turned the ball over.  We didn’t knock them down when we got to the free throw line in the clutch.”
    Morgan State’s outing at the free-throw line (83.3 %) bettered GSU’s performance on the line (59.1 %) going 13-of-22.
    “We’ve got a week to get ready for the conference,” said Cram.  “We’ll go home and work them hard and work on the things that we didn’t do this weekend.”
    Georgia Southern will return to action following the New Year holiday and restart Southern Conference play at UNC Greensboro, Saturday, January 5 at 12 p.m.