Kyle Doyle emerges for Eagles

Ryan Woodham

Colin Ritsick

With .07 seconds left on the clock, Elon University senior guard Jack Isenbarger sunk a desperation three that pushed Elon past Georgia Southern University 60-59 in Saturday’s basketball game, handing the Eagles their second loss in a row.

GSU dropped to 11-14 in the season and 4-6 in the Southern Conference.

But while both games count the same in the win/loss column, they told entirely different tales.

Thursday’s loss to Wofford College featured a massive meltdown. The Terriers erased a 13-point lead in the second half and held GSU to nine points in the final 12:43 of the game. And, while the Eagles did let go of a second-half lead on Saturday, the way the team played is much different.

“Whether or not that shot goes in at the horn doesn’t take away the fact that we played some great basketball tonight. I was really proud of our effort tonight and the way we handled a few tough situations,” GSU head coach Mark Byington said.

One thing Byington can be proud of is the play of true freshman forward Kyle Doyle.

Doyle has become a reliable threat that can play 30-plus minutes per game for the Eagles. He finished Saturday with 12 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double in three games and his third of the season. Over the last four games he is averaging 11.5 points per game (ppg).

Doyle played an integral part in 64-62 victory over University of North Carolina-Greensboro last Saturday. He chalked up 13 points and 12 rebounds against the Spartans.

His emergence as both a rebounding and scoring option has come at a time when the Eagles needed him the most. Senior guard Tre Bussey had averaged almost 19 ppg up until recently. In the last five games he is averaging only 9.2 ppg.

With only six games left in the regular season to make up ground in the SoCon, GSU will need all hands on deck to come out of these games with a .500 mark. The Eagles will have to face three of the four top teams in the conference.

Their next matchup will be against UNCG at home on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.