GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman used a dominating second quarter to hold off Georgia Southern, 78-63, in the Eagles' season-opener on Sunday evening at Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C.
The Paladins improved to 1-1 on the young season, while the Eagles (0-1) fell in the regular season debut of head coach Anita Howard.
Georgia Southern led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter, but went more than six minutes before scoring its next point. Furman ended up outpointing the Eagles 26-5 in the second quarter to build a 19-point halftime lead, 41-22.
Eagles of the Game
Junior Tatum Barber collected a team-high 14 points on the night, while graduate transfer Nikki McDonald added 12 points for her first double-digit scoring game as an Eagle. Freshman Jaiden Hamilton scored nine points in her Eagle debut as well.
A three-pointer by freshman Jaiden Hamilton cut the Paladin lead to six, 67-61, with 3:24 remaining but back-to-back layups by Furman over the next minute pushed the lead back out to double digits, 71-61, with 2:08 left to go and allowed the home team to hold on for the victory.
Stat of the Game
The five points scored by the Eagles in the second quarter were the fewest for Georgia Southern since a four-point first quarter against Sun Belt foe Louisiana on Feb. 10, 2018.
Head coach Anita Howard on the second-half surge from the Eagles tonight
"That's what I want to see. I want to see the fight, I want to see the tenacity. I just want to see their commitment to getting better and not giving up. And so being down 23, we could have easily held our heads down and just gave up. Against good teams you can't let them build such a big lead on you. We'll look at this game and definitely get better from it. Hats off to Furman, they're preseason picked No. 1 in the SoCon for a reason."
On her takeaway from this game looking forward to the home opener vs. Kennesaw State on Sunday
"Just being consistent. If we didn't have that bad second quarter, I think we could have made this a better game for us. That's something we have been struggling with. Our effort has to be consistent through four straight quarters and not just one or two."
Freshman guard Jaiden Hamilton
On the three that cut the lead to six late in the fourth quarter
"When I made that, I felt it would give us some momentum. We were kinda playing slow, so I thought we were going to get back in it after that."
The Eagles will play its first regular-season home contest of the season at Hanner Fieldhouse on Sunday, November 17, hosting Kennesaw State at 2 p.m.