Two Eagles within reach of career milestones as GSU takes on Wofford

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Robert Huitt

Redshirt junior guard Jelani Hewitt and senior guard Tre Bussey will both try to reach 1,000 career points tonight as the Georgia Southern University men’s basketball team squares off against the Wofford College Terriers.

The duo joined the team in the 2010-11 season and have become a high-scoring tandem for the Eagles this year.

Hewitt, who leads the Southern Conference with 20.7 points per game (ppg), enters tonight’s game just two points shy of the 1,000-point threshold. Bussey is currently fifth in the SoCon at 17.8 ppg and needs just seven points to reach the 1,000-point mark.

They will try to accomplish the feat against the Terriers (8-10, 3-3 SoCon), who will look to spoil the night by escaping with a victory. GSU lost both games to Wofford last season and averaged just 50 points in those losses.

“Traditionally, year in and year out they’re always one of the best teams in the SoCon, defensive-wise,” GSU head coach Mark Byington said. “They’re a physical team. They basically guard everything.”

The Terriers handed Western Carolina University its first conference loss of the season Monday night, defeating the Catamounts by a score of 71-60.

Junior guard Karl Cochran scored 23 points and dished out five assists against WCU. Cochran is the leading scorer for the Terriers and has averaged 20.6 points over his last six games.

“Karl Cochran, a player from Marietta, GA, is terrific offensively,” Byington said. “He is explosive and can go off for big nights anytime.”

The Eagles will also have to contend with sophomore guard Spencer Collins and junior forward Lee Skinner. Collins is the second-leading scorer for the Terriers with 13.2 ppg.

Skinner has been a force on the glass this season, averaging nine rebounds per game. He has reached double-figure rebounds in eight games this season. Senior forward Marvin Baynham and junior forward Angel Matias will have to keep a body on Skinner whenever a shot is taken.

“It’s a big challenge stopping Lee Skinner. We just got to try to limit his touches, and do the best we can to try to be there and make him score over us,” Byington said.

The Eagles have been a different team at home this season. They are 6-2 at home as opposed to 2-7 on the road. Wofford has also struggled on the road, going 4-7 away from Spartanburg, S.C.

Opening tip is set for 7 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse. The game can also be viewed on WSAV-DT2.