Georgia Southern men’s team drops a 65-62 game to Troy Thursday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.  Women’s team falls to Troy in overtime.



Troy Fends Off Men’s Basketball 65-62
Eagles play host to South Alabama on ESPN3 Saturday in Hanner.

Musa Abdul-Aleem posted 25 points and 12 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with 32.7 seconds left as Troy hung on to defeat Georgia Southern 65-62 in Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball action Thursday night in Hanner Fieldhouse.

Trailing 65-62 with 1.5 second s to go, Georgia Southern had a last chance to tie the score off a sideline out-of-bounds play. The Eagles inbounded to Jelani Hewitt, but the senior’s 25-foot, 3-point try from the wing was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Mike Hughes tallied 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Georgia Southern (18-6, 11-4), while Hewitt posted 12 points and five assists. Angel Matias collected 11 points and 10 boards, and Curtis Diamond tallied nine points and six rebounds.

Kevin Thomas contributed 11 points and nine rebounds for Troy (10-15, 5-11), and Chris Bilbo tallied 10 points and four assists.

Matias tied the score 62-62 with a layup with just over a minute to play after two offensive rebounds for the Eagles. Abdul-Aleem answered by driving into the lane and hitting a tough turnaround jumper to give the Trojans a 64-62 lead with 32.7 seconds to go.

Matias drove the lane on the Eagles’ trip down the floor, but Abdul-Aleem stepped in front and took the charge with 21.2 seconds left. The Eagles had to foul and hacked Bilbo after trying to steal the inbounds pass.

Bilbo missed two from the charity stripe, but Thomas pulled down the rebound for Troy and was fouled. He made the second end of the two-shot foul for a 65-62 lead.

Hewitt tried a contested 3-pointer from the wing with the clock running down, and Hughes was there to collect the rebound as the bench called timeout with 1.5 seconds remaining, setting up Hewitt’s final try.

Troy held the Eagles to 36 percent from the floor and forced 16 turnovers. Both teams struggled with free-throws as Georgia Southern hit 11-of-21 and Troy made 12-of-20.

Georgia Southern held a 27-18 lead late in the first half after Hewitt fed Trent Wiedeman for a 3-pointer from the wing with 4:37 on the clock. The Trojans finished the frame with an 14-2 run, capped by a Bilbo triple with 26 seconds left, and went into the locker room with a 32-29 cushion.

With Troy trailing 56-54, Bilbo knocked in a 3-pointer from the wing with 5:50 remaining, was fouled and made the freebie to give the Trojans a 58-56 lead, which they never relinquished.

The Eagles return to action at home Saturday against South Alabama in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. It’s GATA Club Reunion Night – all former Georgia Southern student-athletes are welcome for the game.

Women’s Basketball Falls 99-93 to Troy in Overtime

STATESBORO, Ga. – Caitlyn Ramirez sent the game into an extra period with a putback with 0.9 on the clock in regulation, and Ashley Beverly-Kelley scored 46 points as Troy posted a 99-93 overtime Sun Belt Conference victory over Georgia Southern Thursday evening in Hanner Fieldhouse.

Georgia Southern freshman Abby Hix hit a triple from the corner to give the Eagles an 82-80 lead with 9.2 seconds left in regulation. Troy’s Aissata Maiga drove to the basket and missed a runner, and in the scrum for the rebound Eagle forward Anna Claire Knight tried to tip the ball to halfcourt with time running down. But the ball went right to Ramirez who scored a layup with 0.9 on the clock to send the game to overtime.

Alexis Sams tied the score 88-88 with a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:51 left in overtime, but Ronita Garrett got a tough turnaround jumper to go, was fouled and hit the free throw for a 91-88 lead. After the Eagles (4-20, 1-14) missed a shot, Troy got two offensive rebounds on its next trip down the floor to keep possession with 39 second left. 

The Eagles elected to foul, and Beverly-Kelley made a pair. Knight hit a jumper with 24 seconds left, but Beverly-Kelley went 6-for-6 from the line to ice the game.

“We keep taking steps forward, and we took another step forward today but unfortunately, instead of getting validated with a win and feeling that elation, we have to suffer the disappointment of a loss,” said Georgia Southern coach Chris Vozab. “That’s tough for a young team to deal with, but I’m proud of our fight, our togetherness and our resolve, and I know we’ll rebound from this, get better and continue to move forward.” 

Angel McGowan led five Eagles in double figures with 23 points to go along with a career-high seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Alexis Sams scored a career-high 18 points, and Knight finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Patrice Butler contributed 12 points and nine rebounds, and Hix finished with 11 points.

Beverley-Kelley was 16-for-31 from the floor, 5-for-8 from 3-point range and 9-for-9 from the charity stripe for Troy (16-9, 11-5). Her 46 points were the most scored against the Eagles in program history, topping Jennifer Gardner of Western Carolina, who netted 45 March 5, 2005. It also tied the Hanner Fieldhouse scoring mark, set by Eagle great Phylette Blake, who netted 46 against Baptist Jan. 9, 1989.

Ronita Garrett tallied 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Trojans, while Kourtney Coleman and Ramirez each scored nine. Ramirez also finished with 11 rebounds.

The Eagles shot 57 percent in the first half and 46 percent for the game, while holding Troy to 38 percent, but the Trojans used 28 offensive boards to score 31 second-chance points. It was the most points the Eagles have scored against a Division I opponent since a 97-95 double-overtime loss to Western Carolina in the 2005 Southern Conference Tournament.

The Eagles return to action at home Saturday against South Alabama in a 4:30 p.m. tipoff in Hanner Fieldhouse. It’s Senior Day, GATA Club Reunion Day, the GATA game for student-athletes and the game will be televised live on ESPN3.