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Georgia Southern Falls to UNCG

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UNCG Closes Strong, Tops Men's Basketball 68-56
The Eagles play host to Davidson Saturday at 2 p.m. in a #TrueBlue Out

STATESBORO, Ga. – Tyrone Outlaw came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points, and UNCG held Georgia Southern to 31 percent shooting from the floor as the Spartans notched a 68-56 Southern Conference win over the Eagles Thursday afternoon in Hanner Fieldhouse.

Tre Bussey and Brian Holmes each scored 12 points to lead Georgia Southern (11-15, 4-7), while Angel Matias collected 10 points and 11 rebounds. Curtis Diamond chipped in eight points and five rebounds, and Jelani Hewitt, the league's leading scorer, was held to nine points, just the second time the junior was held under double digits this season.

Tevon Saddler recorded 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists for UNCG (12-14, 5-6), and RJ White chipped in eight points and 12 rebounds off the bench. The Spartan reserves outscored Georgia Southern's bench 32-10.

Georgia Southern trailed 55-52 following a triple by Holmes with 6:39 to play, and Hewitt got a steal and fed Kyle Doyle for what looked to be a fast-break layup to cut it to one. But Doyle was whistled for a travel, and Outlaw knocked down 3-pointers from the wing on consecutive possessions for the Spartans, pushing the lead to nine.

Matias got an offensive rebound and a putback on the Eagles' next trip down the floor, making the score 61-54 with 3:57 left, but it was the last basket Georgia Southern would score for the next 3:30. UNCG closed the game with a 7-2 run.

The Eagles struggled shooting the ball in all phases, going 18-of-58 from the field, 7-of-29 from 3-point range and 13-of-25 from the free-throw stripe.

"We don't have to have guys do anything out of character, but we have to make free throws and layups and we missed a lot of them today," said Georgia Southern coach Mark Byington. "We let mistakes compound by making more mistakes and not digging our way out of it. One of the things this team has to do is be mentally tougher for 40 minutes."

Georgia Southern held the Spartans to 42 percent shooting for the game, but UNCG canned 8-of-16 from long distance and 12-of-14 from the charity stripe.

The Eagles struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 31 percent, but used seven fast-break points and three second-chance points to take a 31-30 lead into the break. The Eagles did their part defensively as well, forcing eight UNCG turnovers and allowing the Spartans to shoot a 41 percent from the floor.

Over 200 Georgia Southern student-athletes were honored at halftime for recording a 3.0 grade point average or better in the fall semester.

The Eagles are back at home Saturday afternoon against the Davidson Wildcats. That game starts at 2 p.m. inside Hanner Fieldhouse and can be seen live on GS All-Access. Fans are encouraged to wear blue for the #TrueBlue Out. It is also Greek Day and a Junior Eagle Club Day.

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