January 22, 2013
Last week, I said we were about to find out what the Georgia Southern men’s basketball team is made of. Well, we learned that the Eagles can beat anyone in the league — but they can lose to anyone, too.
Last week’s home stand was a gauge to see how the Eagles match up against the conference’s best teams: Davidson and the College of Charleston. The final game came against The Citadel, a team that was 0-6 in SoCon play coming in.
The Eagles passed the test against Davidson with flying colors. Georgia Southern didn’t just win the game, they dominated it. The 70-57 victory was the first win for Georgia Southern over Davidson since 2006. Only two teams have beaten Davidson by a larger margin this season, Duke and Gonzaga.
Three nights later, the College of Charleston walked into Hanner Fieldhouse as the first-place team in the SoCon. It was a close game throughout, with 13 lead changes, but the Eagles used an 11-3 run to close the game and win 51-47.
On Saturday, The Citadel came to town, winless in conference play and sporting a 3-13 overall record. The Bulldogs used a late first-half run to take a 9-point lead into halftime — and they never looked back en route to a 70-55 win over the Eagles.
The game against The Citadel came in a tough spot for the Eagles. This team had two emotional wins over heavily favored opponents and then had to play a desperate team two nights later.
But championship teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat. I am not saying these Eagles aren’t championship material — they proved they can be. They just need to bring the same energy and effort against The Citadels of the world as they brought to the Davidson and Charleston games. If the Eagles show up to play every night like they did last Monday, big things will happen.
Next up for the guys is a trip to Appalachian State Thursday night, followed by Western Carolina Saturday. Davidson is currently leading the South division with a 6-1 record, and Charleston sits in second place at 4-3. Georgia Southern and Furman are tied at 2-4, while Wofford and The Citadel round out the South standings with one win apiece.
Georgia Southern women’s basketball just finished a tough portion of its schedule with road games at Chattanooga and Samford; those two squads have a combined conference record of 13-3. Neither game was close, as both the Lady Mocs and Lady Bulldogs had their way with Georgia Southern.
In fact, the Eagles averaged just 42 points in the three games before Sunday’s matchup with Wofford, when Southern picked up its third win of the season and second win in its last five games — and it did not lack drama. Anna Claire Knight buried a three at the buzzer to give the Lady Eagles a 61-58 victory over the Terriers.
In the standings, the top five — Chattanooga (7-1), Elon (7-1), Appalachian State (6-1), Davidson (6-1) and Samford (6-2) — have separated themselves from the rest of the field. Behind them, the College of Charleston (3-5), Furman (2-5), Western Carolina (2-5) and Georgia Southern (2-6) are log-jammed together. Wofford and UNC Greensboro are both winless in league play.
The women hit the road to Greensboro on Saturday, followed by a matchup at Elon Monday night. Georgia Southern is right in the middle of the pack; string together a few wins, and you never know what might happen.
Both teams are on the road for the rest of January, but both have five home games in February. Let’s pack Hanner and help these teams get hot down the stretch.