Men's Basketball Eagles
Bested by Hot-Shooting Furman Squad
Furman shoots 67% from beyond the arc to top the Eagles
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Georgia Southern Men's Basketball ran into a hot-shooting Furman squad on Thursday night, falling 81-74 to the Paladins. Furman shot 64% from the field, but spent much of the contest above the 70% mark. GSU opens a three-game home stand on Saturday night against Chattanooga inside Hanner Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m.
"Ultimately it was their night," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "It's tough when the other team makes two or three baskets from over 30 feet. From here on out every game is a one-game Super Bowl as we look to stay in the race for the SoCon Championship. We've got to make sure we don't put ourselves in a hole like we did tonight going forward."
C.J. Reed scored 20 points on the night, reaching 20-or-more points for the second time this season for the Eagles who fall to 9-13 overall and 3-6 in league play. He was 2-for-4 from downtown to go with five assists. Eric Ferguson scored 14 points in the loss with three steals, helping to spark the Eagle comeback in the second half.
Marvin Baynham and Tre Bussey each scored eight points while Baynham added seven rebounds to lead the Eagles who out-rebounded Furman 25-24 with a 10-5 lead on the offensive glass. Brian Holmes and Cameron Baskerville each added seven points to the cause.
Furman (6-13, 3-5 SoCon) was led by 20 points from Charlie Reddick on 6-for-6 shooting overall and a 5-for-5 mark from downtown. Bobby Austin scored 17 with a perfect 3-for-3 mark beyond the arc. Three other Paladins scored in double-figures, giving the hosts five scorers in double-figures.
The only bad line for Furman was 18 turnovers off 12 GSU steals. Georgia Southern converted those turnovers into 26 points.
Georgia Southern opened the game shooting very well from the field, but would go nearly six minutes down the stretch in the first half without a field goal. The Eagles trailed by 18 points with four seconds left in the first half, but a three-pointer from midcourt by Reed cut the lead to 15 points at the intermission.
After the break GSU got it to within 11 points before Furman stretched the lead back to 14 points with just less than 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
GSU ramped up the full court pressure in the second half, forcing turnovers and putting the Paladins under duress on the offensive side of the floor. The Eagles got the lead under 10 points for the first time in the second half with 8:50 remaining in the contest.
With just better than six minutes remaining, the Eagles got the lead to six on a dunk by Baynham, his second of the evening. On the next trip, Baskerville drained a three-pointer to cut it to three. Reed got a steal on the next trip and was summarily fouled where he made both ends of the one-and-one. The Paladins missed a basket on offense, allowing Bussey to give the Eagles their first lead of the game with 5:05 remaining on a 9-0 GSU run.
The teams traded the lead three times over the final four minutes, but back-to-back three-pointers by Austin inside the final minute gave the Paladins a lead they would not relinquish. Ultimately, Furman would stretch the lead to seven points with 26 seconds remaining and hold on for the 81-74 victory.
After shooting as good as 72% from the field in the game's first 32 minutes, the Paladins cooled, slightly, from the field and finished the game with a season-best 64% mark from the field. Georgia Southern shot the ball very well, finishing the game at 53% from the field. Both teams knocked down their three-point shots with the Eagles shooting 42% from downtown while Furman made 67% from beyond the arc.
Furman's marks from both the field and bonushphere were their best numbers in the Jeff Jackson Era which spans the last seven seasons.
Georgia Southern is back at home on Saturday night against Chattanooga on Alumni Night at Hanner Fieldhouse. The Eagles will honor its former student-athletes at halftime of the contest which is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
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