Eagles fall to Elon | News
STATESBORO, GA. – Georgia Southern Men's Basketball dropped its SoCon opener on Wednesday night against Elon at Hanner Fieldhouse, 55-50. The Eagles trailed by six at the break and Elon extended the lead to 15 in the final six minutes of the game before GSU roared back down the stretch, cutting the lead to three points in the final minute. Elon took the lead back to five points with a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to hand the Eagles their first SoCon loss of the year.
"We definitely didn't play with the energy we wanted for a lot of the game tonight," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "We played with energy in the final six minutes, and that gave us some results. We've got to find a way to not hang our heads when the ball doesn't go in the basket. We have to mature as a basketball team especially with the short turnaround before Saturday's game at Samford."
GSU falls to 2-4 on the year with a 0-1 mark in SoCon play. Elon is 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the league. The Eagles travel to Samford on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Elon hosts College of Charleston on Saturday night.
Tre Bussey dropped 16 points in the contest sharing high-scoring honors with Elon's Lucas Troutman. Bussey was 7-for-12 from the field with three rebounds. C.J. Reed added three from downtown for 13 points in the redshirt-senior's best showing at the friendly confines.
Eric Ferguson posted his ninth career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. The performance off the bench snapped a run of 30-consecutive starts for the forward and was just the second different combination of starters for GSU this year.
Troutman led the Phoenix with 16 points, followed by Jack Isenbarger on 12 points. Elon shot 41.2% from the field on the night while out-rebounding the Eagles 35-29. Georgia Southern held the Phoenix to their second-lowest three-point total this season with seven from beyond the arc.
Southern was 19-for-48 from the field in the contest, shooting 39.6% and 6-of-14 from downtown at a 42.9% clip.
In the opening 20 minutes the Eagles out-shot the Phoenix by percentage 52% to 46%, but committed six turnovers. Elon was 4-for-9 from downtown in the first half and took a 16-11 advantage on the rebounding glass to post a six-point lead at the break.
Elon extended the lead to 11 points out of the break, but a five-point GSU run in the fourth minute of the half brought the lead back down to six points. Bussey's three-pointer with 16:07 remaining was his 12th point of the evening while Reed's second trey of the evening at 15:21 brought the Phoenix within three points.
The visitors answered with a run of their own, scoring 12-straight points in the next 10:03 for Elon's largest lead of the contest at 49-34. In the dry spell the Eagles went 0-for-14 from the field.
Ferguson's first dunk of the evening at 3:40 cut the lead back to 13 points. A fast-break layup followed by Ferguson's first three-pointer of the season knocked Elon's lead back down to eight with just less than three minutes remaining in the contest. Reed buried a basket from downtown on the next possession, cutting the lead to five, followed immediately by an offensive foul as Marvin Baynham drew a charge in the backcourt.
On the ensuing possession, Baynham took a hard foul and converted one-of-two from the free throw line to make it 54-49 in favor of the visitors with1:47 left. Ferguson added 1-of-2 from the free throw line with 40 seconds remaining, but that was as close as the Eagles got, falling 55-50 to the Phoenix.
GSU finished the second half with a 29.6% mark from the field, but went 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. The Eagles did a better job on the boards in the second half, trailing 19-18 on the glass while making just four second-half turnovers.