Georgia Southern (6-9) at Wofford (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Johnson Arena (3,500) -- Spartanburg, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: GSU 3-2, Wofford 3-1. Away Record: GSU 2-6, Wofford 2-8. Neutral Record: GSU 1-1, Wofford 1-0. Conference Record: GSU 0-2, Wofford 0-2. Series Record: Georgia Southern leads, 22-20.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Southern Eagles and the Wofford Terriers take another crack at recording their first Southern Conference victory of the season, as the two tangle at Johnson Arena in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Saturday night.
Georgia Southern had its most impressive win of the season on Dec. 15 at Virginia Tech (78-73), which allowed it to move closer to .500 at 4-5, but since then it has struggled with losses in four of its last six games. The Eagles most recently hosted North Carolina A&T last Saturday and were dealt a 71-65 defeat.
Wofford too has been trending downward of late. Things were looking up just a few weeks ago following a stretch where it won four of five, but since then it has lost three in a row. The Terriers opened a brief two-game homestand on Tuesday night and suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Appalachian State, 50-49.
The Terriers had won six straight in the series before Georgia Southern captured the last bout, 63-49, in February of last year. The Eagles still cling to a 22-20 advantage all-time.
Although Georgia Southern trailed for much of the game against NC A&T, it was able to tie the score at 56-56 with just over four minutes to play. The team faltered down the stretch however, eventually suffering the six-point loss. The Eagles shot poorly (.353), but they were able to hang around by draining 23-of-27 from the foul line. Eric Ferguson was fantastic in setback, tallying 22 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Tre Bussey and C.J. Reed were solid in the loss as well, netting 12 points apiece while combining for eight assists and only three turnovers. Low scoring games are nothing new for the Eagles, as they rank ninth in the SoCon with an average of only 60.7 ppg. Ferguson has been by far their top playmaker, putting up 15.2 ppg and 7.9 rpg, and while he is shooting 68.8 percent from the foul line, he makes 6.4 trips to the stripe per game. Reed (11.5 ppg), Bussey (11.1 ppg), and Cleon Roberts (8.0 ppg) have been nice complements in the GSU backcourt, combining to make 74 of the team's 89 3-pointers.
Wofford and Appalachian State spent most of the game separated by one- possession, and the Terriers held a 49-48 lead with 4:18 to play following a Mike Neal layup. ASU the took the lead with two and a half minutes left, and neither team scored another point down the stretch, with Wofford missing its final six field goal attempts. It was an inefficient night at the offensive end for Wofford, which shot just 35.1 percent from the field, including a 3- of-18 showing from beyond the arc. Nathan Healy and Tevin Baskin each scored 10 points in the setback, while Jay Canty finished with eight points and nine boards. On the season, Wofford has been an even worse scoring team than Georgia Southern. In fact, it ranks last in the SoCon in both field goal percentage (.385) and points per game (58.3), although it does rank first in scoring defense (58.9 ppg). Karl Cochran (15.7 ppg) and Spencer Collins (10.9 ppg) both shoot less than 37 percent from the field, while Lee Skinner adds 10.8 ppg and 7.0 rpg to the frontcourt.
Expect a defensive struggle in this bout between two teams who have a hard time finding the basket. In an evenly-matched battle, the edge goes to the Terrier, who have been relatively strong on their home floor (3-1).
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wofford 57, Georgia Southern 55
01/12 10:33:30 ET