STATESBORO – Georgia Southern and Augusta will square off in a charity exhibition men’s basketball contest to raise awareness and financial support for hurricane relief efforts Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Proceeds from the “Storm the Berry” game will be donated to the American Red Cross to assist victims of the recent hurricanes that have occurred recently in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Supported by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the NCAA allowed schools to apply for a waiver for a special additional exhibition contest to benefit relief efforts.
General admission is $10. AU and Georgia Southern students are free of charge with a valid university ID, while non-Augusta and Georgia Southern students, senior citizens, and military are $5 at the main entrance. Children six and under are free of charge.
There will be “Storm the Berry” adidas t-shirts on sale at the game, with all proceeds also going to the American Red Cross.
Georgia Southern and Augusta are part of a group of several schools scheduling extra games before the season starts to aid victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. Kansas and Missouri agreed to re-start their “Border War” rivalry with an exhibition game in Kansas City last Sunday and raised $1.75 million. South Carolina is playing Virginia Tech in an exhibition contest Nov. 5.
“The fact that we can do something that will help raise money for people in the areas affected by the hurricanes is great, and I think it will help our team too,” said Georgia Southern coach Mark Byington. “I am probably one of the craziest coaches in the country to agree to go play at their place as good as they are, but for us, winning a game at this time of year is not what's important. What is important for us right now is to see what our team has and get some guys who haven't played some experience and to do something for people who had their lives affected by these storms.”
Georgia Southern and Augusta have not met since 2005, a 90-58 Eagle win in Hanner Fieldhouse. GS leads the series, which began in 1941, 19-8, and has won the last three contests, all at home. The Eagles have not played at Augusta since 1990 and have never played in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Eagles have been one of the youngest teams in the country the last two years, and for the second year in a row, Georgia Southern returns 94 percent of its scoring and all five starters. A number of college basketball publications are predicting Georgia Southern to be one of the top teams in the Sun Belt and naming juniors Tookie Brown and Ike Smith to their preseason all-conference teams.
Augusta is coming off a 24-8 season that saw them reach the Division II NCAA Tournament, and last season, the Jaguars were in a one-point game with under three minutes to play at Wichita State in exhibition action before the Shockers survived for a 73-67 win. Augusta plays Clemson in an exhibition game Nov. 2, prior to taking on Georgia Southern.
The Eagles open the campaign with an exhibition game against Georgia College Nov. 1, in Hanner Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 7 p.m., and admission is free.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides current information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, which is fully responsive across all mobile devices. Information on Eagle athletics can also be found through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics, twitter.com/GSAthletics and Instagram.com/GSAthletics. To purchase tickets to Georgia Southern athletics events, visit GSEagles.com/tickets.
In order to expedite entry and provide a safe environment for all patrons and participants, Georgia Southern Athletics has implemented a Clear Bag Policy for all ticketed sporting events, effective Aug. 1, 2017. Fans can find the complete policy as well as an FAQ section at GSEagles.com/ClearBag.