GAME NOTES: With the regular season winding down, the Georgia Southern Eagles play the first of back-to-back home dates on Thursday night against the Wofford Terriers at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The Eagles last took the floor on Saturday versus the College of Charleston, and bowed to the Cougars on the road in a 69-60 final. The loss was the third in the last four contests for GSU which is now 5-9 in conference play.
As for the Terriers, they too are stuck in the middle of the pack in the South Division of the Southern Conference standings with five wins in 15 opportunities. The team was most recently in action last Saturday as well, and crushed visiting Chattanooga in a 78-58 final. The victory snapped a two-game slide and was a huge improvement from the team's previous outing, one that finished 40-33 in favor of Samford just two nights earlier.
Wofford, which trails in the all-time series by just a single game at the moment, 22-21, won the first meeting of the season during the second week of January at home in a 71-53 final.
The Terriers led by 18 points at the break against Chattanooga and never looked back, as they shot better than 50 percent from the floor and made half of their 22 attempts behind the 3-point line. Karl Cochran, responsible for 6- of-12 shooting out on the perimeter, finished with a game-high 30 points in 33 minutes of action. Jarell Byrd added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the hosts as well.
A starter in all but three games this season, Cochran is clearly the focal point of the offense for Wofford, putting up 15.7 ppg, although his mere 35.8 percent shooting from the floor overall is a bit lean. Spencer Collins (12.5 ppg) has combined with Cochran to make a total of 107 shots from 3-point range, the rest of the team coming up with just 60 conversions which is why Wofford is netting only 58.6 ppg at the moment.
Georgia Southern led by a point in the opening moments of its meeting against Charleston, but that was the end of the good news for the Eagles as they fell behind by as many as 23 points before cutting the deficit to nine after 40 minutes of action. Shooting 8-of-12 from the floor in a reserve role, Eric Ferguson finished with a game-high 22 points, while C.J. Reed tallied 16 points on a mere 5-of-16 effort from the field.
On a team that is scoring just 62.7 ppg, Ferguson is the top producer with 14.6 ppg, hitting his field goal attempts at a 49.3 percent clip. Ferguson is also first with 6.7 rpg, as well as blocks (25) and steals (47), but there's reason to believe he has enough talent and opportunity to produce more than a mere 33 assists in more than 800 minutes of action. Reed chips in another 13.0 ppg, and he has picked up the slack in the passing department with 102 dishes.
As long as the Terriers can get off to a fast start, just as they did in their last outing, this is certainly a game that the visitors can win.
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