GSU narrowly escapes with victory in SoCon opener

Robert Huitt

The Georgia Southern University men’s basketball team held off a late charge to edge the Samford University Bulldogs 80-78 in the Southern Conference opener today.

Redshirt junior guard Jelani Hewitt had an uneven game in his 36 minutes of play. Hewitt recorded 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Although Hewitt had an efficient night scoring the ball, he tied his season-high with seven turnovers.

Senior guard Tre Bussey finished with 22 points on 54.5 percent shooting. Bussey also added six rebounds and was able to get to the free throw line a game-high 14 times, making nine.

The Eagles held the lead for 37 minutes, but the Bulldogs were able to hang around behind the performance of sophomore forward Tim Williams. Williams scored 23 points and secured eight rebounds in 34 minutes.

Junior guard Connor Miller scored 14 points for the Bulldogs, with most of his damage coming from downtown. Miller connected on four of his seven three-point attempts.

With the win, the Eagles (8-8) improve to 5-1 at Hanner Fieldhouse and will look to continue their strong play at home on Jan. 11 against Western Carolina University.