Men's Basketball Holds off Chattanooga
Eric Ferguson's triple with 11.7 seconds left proves to be the game winner
STATESBORO, GA. – Eric Ferguson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 11.7 seconds remaining to lift Georgia Southern to a 59-57 Southern Conference men's basketball victory over Chattanooga Saturday night in Hanner Fieldhouse.
With the Eagles trailing by a point, Brian Holmes drove into the teeth of the defense, drawing two Mocs to him, and kicked it out to a wide open Ferguson, who took his time and knocked it down.
After a timeout, Chattanooga's Gee McGhee tried a contested 3-pointer from the top of the key with three seconds left but came up short. The Mocs overcame a 21-point second-half deficit and took their first lead of the game on a pair of McGhee free throws with 40 seconds to play, setting up Ferguson's heroics.
"It was great to get this win tonight after a few tough games on the road," said Head Coach Charlton "C.Y." Young. "After losing two close games on the road, I feel like we played like a team that was playing not to lose instead of playing to win. I'm not happy that we did that, but I feel like it is going to help us when we get in these situations in the future."
Ferguson finished with 16 points, three steals and two assists for the Eagles (10-13, 4-6 SoCon), and C.J. Reed posted 19 points, five assists and four rebounds. Tre Bussey scored seven.
McGhee led Chattanooga with 19 points, drilling 12 of his 15 attempts at the free-throw line. Z. Mason finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Drazen Zlovaris had 10 points and 10 boards.
Reed opened the game by draining three-straight bombs from downtown as Georgia Southern raced out to a 17-7 lead in the first five minutes of the contest. GSU would lead by as many as many as 13 points in the opening period, taking a 36-23 lead into the halftime break.
The lead grew to 21 points less than four minutes into the second half before Chattanooga sliced the lead back to 10 points with 7:58 left in the second half.
The Mocs got within four points with just under four minutes remaining thanks to a 15-5 run. Chattanooga made it a one-point game with 1:48 on a trey McGhee.
Chattanooga's run saw the Eagles go 0-for-6 from the field from the 5:44 mark in the second half. That streak ended with 13 seconds left when Ferguson nailed a three off an assist from Holmes to put the Eagles up by a deuce. A defensive stop by the Eagles cemented the victory in the opening game of a three-game homestand.
Next up for the Eagles is two more home games this week against Appalachian State and Western Carolina. Georgia Southern gets its first rematches of the year starting on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the Mountaineers at Hanner Fieldhouse.
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