February 29, 2012
This wasn’t how CY drew it up.
Georgia Southern men’s basketball had two games last week and needed just one win or one Wofford loss to clinch the second seed and a first-round bye in the SoCon tournament. The Eagles went 0-2 on the week, and the Terriers went 2-0.
Georgia Southern hit the road Thursday night with a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed with a win over the College of Charleston at TD Arena, but the Eagles didn’t score until over eight minutes into the game and found themselves down by as many as 17 in the first half. The Eagles cut the lead to seven at halftime and came all the way back to take the lead in the final minutes of the game. But the Cougars closed strong and came away with the 58-53 win on their senior night.
The loss to Charleston set up a must-win game at home against first-place Davidson. It was senior night at Hanner, and the Eagles wanted to send Willie Powers and Ben Drayton out with a win in their final home game — but the Wildcats were too much. Southern never could put together a run to close the gap in the second half and fell 71-54.
Meanwhile, Wofford finished its conference schedule with four straight wins to tie Georgia Southern with a 12-6 SoCon record. The Terriers own the tiebreaker because of their better head-to-head record against the next-highest-seeded team out of the South, the College of Charleston. Wofford swept the season series with the Cougars, while the Eagles split.
Georgia Southern will face North division sixth-seeded Chattanooga in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Asheville, N.C. The winner will face Elon on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles wrapped up their regular season Monday night at Furman. The team has stumbled down the stretch, losing eight of their last nine going into the regular-season finale. The women’s basketball bracket will be set after Monday night’s games, but the Lady Eagles are guaranteed to be no higher than ninth, which means they will be playing in Friday’s first round against a higher-seeded team.
In a one-bid league like the Southern Conference, all it takes is for a team to get hot this weekend. Four straight wins will put either Georgia Southern team in the Big Dance. Anything can happen come tournament time. It’s March, kids. Enjoy the madness.
After sweeping its opening weekend, Georgia Southern baseball hosted No. 10 Georgia Tech Wednesday night. A crowd of 3,258 — the largest crowd in J. I. Clements Stadium history — watched the Yellow Jackets score three runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Eagles 11-9.
The Eagles then welcomed Radford to Statesboro for a weekend series. Friday night’s action was rained out, so the two teams played a doubleheader Saturday. Georgia Southern won both games 7-6 in walk-off fashion but could not complete the sweep on Sunday, falling to Radford 5-4.
All-American outfielder Victor Roache injured his left wrist in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader while attempting to make a diving catch. No official announcement has been made as to how long he will be out of the lineup, but initial reports do not look good.
The Eagles host Mercer Tuesday night, then hit the road for the first time this season with a trip to North Florida for games on Thursday and Friday. North Florida then comes to Statesboro for Saturday and Sunday contests to complete the rare four-game, home-and-home weekend series.
Finally, Georgia Southern softball hosted the Eagle Classic last weekend and ended the weekend with three wins and two losses. The wins came over Jacksonville State, Albany and Kentucky, while the Eagles fell to Radford and North Florida. Georgia Southern is 8-7 on the season with just one week before conference play cranks up.