Georgia Southern (9-9) at Appalachian State (4-13)
01/18/2014 7:48 AM
01/18/2014 7:52 AM
GAME NOTES: Fresh off an overtime win, the Georgia Southern Eagles get back on the road for a Saturday clash against the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Georgia Southern fended off Furman on Thursday, 88-81, in overtime to keep the Paladins winless in Southern Conference play and avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since November.
Tre Bussey finished with 26 points, while Jelani Hewitt and Angel Matias each added 21 points for the Eagles, who shot 50 percent from the field and made 11 3-pointers. Matias made a go-ahead trifecta with the score tied 74-74 in the extra session, and Georgia Southern held on from there.
Hewitt and Bussey have been the top scoring options for the Eagles this season. Hewitt leads the squad with 20.8 ppg, good for tops in the SoCon, to go along with 5.2 rpg, while Bussey is averaging 18.6 ppg. They have combined to knock down 88 of GSU's 143 3-pointers on the season.
Appalachian State remained winless in league play and dropped its fifth straight on Thursday with an 80-70 setback against league-leader Chattanooga. The Mountaineers were done in by an ugly first half that saw them shoot just 31.4 percent from the floor, and they couldn't recover from an 11-point halftime deficit.
Jay Canty led the way with 18 points and five rebounds, while Mike Neal netted 16, Tab Hamilton scored 12 and Michael Obacha had 10 in the setback.
Canty, who has appeared in just five games this season, leads the team with 17.6 ppg, while Hamilton is next with 13.1 ppg. Tevin Baskin (10.9 ppg) and Neal (10.7 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for the Mountaineers, who average just 70.5 ppg, while yielding 75.0 ppg.
Appalachian State won a pair of overtime contests against Georgia Southern last season and leads the all-time series, 24-17. This, however, is a new season, and the Mountaineers have been struggling in close games. The Eagles are well versed in tight affairs, with the past six games being decided by seven points or less. Another nip-and-tuck battle should present itself Saturday, and Georgia Southern's recent experience should lift it to a solid road win.
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