Technically speaking, every conference game will count the same in the final Sun Belt standings. But with fewer games remaining on the schedule with each passing week, every game is taking on more significance for both the Georgia Southern men's and women’s teams.
Thursday night featured a strong bounceback game for the GS men as they snapped a two-game losing streak. The Eagles dug themselves an early hole against Troy, only to burst out of it in impressive form with a dominating 25-0 run that paved the way for an 86-57 victory.
The win helped the men (13-9, 7-4) climb back into third place in the Sun Belt. The conference once again seems destined to send only its tournament champion to the NCAA tournament, meaning that seeding in March’s conference tournament will be critical. Little Rock has started to edge away from the field with a 10-2 league mark, but second place and eighth place are separated by just three games, making it likely that the standings will undergo significant changes with each day of conference play.
Georgia Southern hosts South Alabama in Hanner Fieldhouse at 4 p.m. today. The Eagles will be looking to avenge a loss to the Jaguars two weeks ago in Mobile in which Georgia Southern squandered an eight-point halftime lead.
The Georgia Southern women nearly got themselves a signature win at Coastal Carolina on Thursday.
Playing a Lady Chanticleer squad that entered the night at 15-3, the Eagles (6-13, 3-5) took a lead into halftime and nursed it throughout most of the night before a late CCU run earned it a comeback win.
The Eagles continue their rebuilding efforts based on coach Anita Howard’s philosophy of strength in numbers. Senior leaders Alexis Brown and Tatum Barber have been consistent offensive forces, but it’s an improved overall team effort that is making the Eagles a bigger threat in league play this season.
That style of play was on display at Coastal as 11 Eagles registered a point and nine saw at least 10 minutes of action.
The shared workload has helped the team’s legs stay fresh and that will be needed today as they take on a struggling Appalachian State squad in Boone, N.C. with a chance to continue moving up the Sun Belt ranks.