GAME NOTES: Hoping to snag a first-round bye in the Southern Conference Tournament, the Georgia Southern Eagles make the trek to Charleston to battle The Citadel Bulldogs on Saturday night at McAlister Fieldhouse.
GSU beat Furman on Thursday night, 82-73, on the road. Despite that win, the Eagles have lost five of their last seven. They are tied for sixth place in the SoCon with UNC Greensboro, and they are still in the mix for a first-round bye in the upcoming conference tourney.
The last-place Citadel Bulldogs snapped a 17-game losing streak with a win at home against Samford on Monday, 81-71.
This is the final regular-season game for both of these clubs. Georgia Southern leads the all-time series, 30-20, and won the earlier matchup this season, 83-52, in Statesboro. The teams split a pair of meetings last season, with each winning on the road.
Jelani Hewitt scored 22 points, as the Georgia Southern Eagles claimed an 82-73 victory over Furman. Tre Bussey added 17 points, Brian Holmes finished with 14 points and Curtis Diamond chipped in 11 in the win. GSU dominated the first 20 minutes, sinking 61.5 percent from the floor, including 9-of-13 from 3-point range, to enter halftime leading, 47-34. The Paladins never challenged in the second half, as the Eagles secured the victory.
Hewitt, the SoCon's leading scorer, averages 20.4 ppg. Bussey adds 15.9 ppg for the Eagles. GSU is scoring at an even 72 ppg clip and allows opponents to counter at 71.3 ppg. Angel Matias is the team's leading man on the boards, pulling down 6.9 rpg.
Ashton Moore poured in 24 points to lead the Bulldogs over Samford. Matt Van Scyoc tallied 19 points and Marshall Harris III added 13 for The Citadel, which picked up its first conference win of the campaign. The Citadel hit an even 50 percent of its shots in the first half, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Samford could not keep up, netting just 34.6 percent from the field in the opening period. The hosting Bulldogs continued their hot shooting in the second half, connecting on 56.5 percent from the floor, which was enough to hold off Samford despite the visitors sinking 52.8 percent in the frame.
Van Scyoc currently leads the program in scoring with 14.2 ppg, but in the last four outings the leading point producer has been Moore (13.3 ppg). Van Scyoc and Moore have combined to knock down 118 of the unit's 185 3-pointers this season, the latter also placing second on the team with 107 assists in an effort to keep his teammates involved in the action. The Bulldogs are scoring just 66.5 ppg, second-worst in the SoCon, while giving up 74.9 ppg, also among the worst figures in the league.
The Bulldogs won for the first time since before Christmas and are hoping to build on that modest success as the regular season comes to an end. The Eagles have trouble at the defensive end, but they have the weapons to send The Citadel back to the loss column.
Game Date and Time