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Whitney paces Lady Eagles to another win
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    GREENVILLE, S.C. — The charity stripe, in the end, was good to the Lady Eagles, Monday night (Feb. 11).  Georgia Southern finished the game hitting 19-of-23 (.826) from the free-throw line to help secure a 59-54 Southern Conference victory at Furman.
    Georgia Southern (15-9, 11-2 SoCon) improves to 11-1 in the calendar year, winning its fourth-consecutive contest and completes the season sweep of Furman.
    Furman drops to 8-16 overall and 3-10 in conference play.
    Sophomore guard Carolyn Whitney (Duluth, Ga.) paced the team with 12 points, including 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.  Junior guard Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) followed with 11 points.  Classmate Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.) led the team with seven rebounds.
    Furman’s Sarah Baker scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, and was followed by Melissa Liebschwager followed with 12 points.
    In first-half action, Furman jumped out to a 6-1 lead before senior forward Christa Waterman (Sugar Hill, Ga.) scored the team’s first field goal at the 15:55 mark, closing the Furman lead to three points, 6-3.
    The Lady Eagles continued to chip away at the lead, and a bucket by Chequilla Jessie (Sanford, Fla.) tied the game at 10-all to help spark a 15-4 run over the next four minutes.  On the next possession, Ashley Rivens made a key steal that set up an old-fashioned three-pointer by Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) with 9:09 on the clock.  Nya Daley (Toronto, Ont.) capped the run with a triple at the 5:09 mark to give the Lady Eagles a 22-14 lead.
    Furman responded with its own 9-4 spurt that was sparked by Baker’s three-pointer and capped by another triple by Kali Holtfreter, closing the Georgia Southern lead to 26-23 at the break.
    Going into the locker room, Georgia Southern led the rebounds category 22-15, with three Lady Eagles pulling down four rebounds, apiece.  Melson paced the team with five points as the team shot 9-of-24 (.375) from the field.  Furman was led by Sarah Baker with eight points.
    In second half action, Furman came out chipping away at the Georgia Southern lead and Baker hit a jumper with 14:16 on the clock to give the Paladins the lead, 31-30.
    Over the next six minutes, the lead changed hands five times before Tiffany Brown’s (Waxhaw, N.C.) pair of free-throws finally put the Lady Eagles ahead for good, 43-41 with 7:15 remaining.
    Georgia Southern was up by two, when Melson made a key steal and went coast to coast to finish a fast break layup and give the team a 47-43 lead at the 5:45 mark.
    But Baker responded with a long triple to close the gap to one point, 47-46 on the next possession.
    One minute later, Whitney found Rivens alone under the bucket.  Rivens hit the layup, was fouled and followed with a free throw to take a 50-46 lead with 4:09 remaining in the game.
    Waterman’s long jumper and Whitney’s pair of free-throws widened the GSU lead to seven points.
    Furman was able to close the gap down to just three points with 15 seconds remaining after Chrissy Phelps made a short layup.
    But the Lady Eagles maintained their composure amid a tight Furman defense down the stretch, and Atwood sealed the victory with a layup with five seconds remaining.
    Georgia Southern shot 19-of-50 (.380) from the field while Furman made 18-of-47 (.383) field goal attempts.  The Lady Eagles won the rebounds category, 38-29.
    Georgia Southern will continue its four-game road trip as it faces College of Charleston Saturday in Charleston, S.C.  Tip-off at Kresse Arena is slated for 2 p.m.