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Samford (6-10) at Georgia Southern (7-8)

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Hanner Fieldhouse (4,358) -- Statesboro, Georgia. Television: None. Home Record: Samford 5-2, Georgia Southern 4-1. Away Record: Samford 1-8, Georgia Southern 2-6. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, Georgia Southern 1-1. Conference Record: Samford 0-1, Georgia Southern 0-0. Series Record: Georgia Southern leads, 33-18.

GAME NOTES: Jelani Hewitt and Tre Bussey lead the Georgia Southern Eagles against Tim Williams and the Samford Bulldogs this afternoon in Southern Conference action at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Samford opened SoCon play on Thursday night, losing a heart-breaker to the Wofford Terriers, 71-61, at the Hanna Center. The Bulldogs led 57-53 with 4:52 remaining, but Wofford closed out the game with a conclusive 18-4 run to rally for the victory.

Tyler Hood scored a season-high 22 points to lead Samford, which has alternated wins and losses over the last eight games. Tim Williams, who was the 2013 SoCon Freshman of the Year, added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, who enter this game just 1-8 on the road this season.

Williams leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.2 ppg this season and grabs a team-best 7.0 rpg. The sophomore shoots an impressive 62.7 percent from the floor. Isaiah Williams adds 11.8 ppg, and Raijon Kelly rounds out the double- figure scorers for the Bulldogs with 10.4 ppg.

Georgia Southern is coming off a 69-63 setback to Campbell on Monday night. Bussey scored seven of his team-high 18 points in the final five minutes, helping the Eagles cut a 14-point deficit to just one point with 2:01 left. However, that was as close as Georgia Southern would get, as it dropped its third contest in five outings.

Hewitt added 13 points for the Eagles, who, including today, play their next three games at home, where they are 4-1 this season.

The Hewitt-Bussey connection leads Georgia Southern, with Hewitt pacing the Eagles in scoring with 20.5 ppg, while grabbing 5.1 rpg and dishing out 3.3 apg. Bussey is netting 18.2 ppg, shooting 45.7 percent from the field, including nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.

This bout marks the SoCon opener for Georgia Southern.

Samford struggles too much on the road, and defensively has been yielding nearly 77 ppg. Expect the hometown Eagles to squeak one out.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Southern 72, Samford 68

01/04 10:47:49 ET