Eagles best Arkansas State, extend winning streak to six

Amanda Arnold

The Georgia Southern men’s basketball team defeated the Arkansas State Redwolves 81-70 in a hard fought game Saturday night. This victory marks the sixth win in a row.

Setting a fast pace early on, GS went on a 7-0 run in the first two minutes of the match. ASU had a few turnovers, allowing GS to capitalize 35 points from fast breaks and turnovers alone. These mistakes quickly made the Redwolves lose their rhythm.

In perhaps one of the most aggressive games of the season, GS held Redwolves senior guard Ty Cockfield to 17 points and two rebounds. Cockfield has been known to rise to the occasion. He has been averaging about 23 points per game and he scored a career high 39 points against conference leader Texas State.

“We knew Ty was one of the leading top scorers in the Sun Belt,” senior guard Tookie Brown said. “We put a couple bodies on him, and tonight I think we contained him really well.”

GS was dynamite on offense tonight, led by Brown with 17 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Isaiah Crawley caps off his big week with a 15 point night, along with freshman guard Calvin Wishart contributing 12 points with his second-most season high. GS shot 60 percent from the field, with 46 points in the paint, compared to ASU’s 42 percent.

“We’ve been staying in the moment and I think that’s helped us,” Byington said. “All of those guys are talented offensive players and they just found the right opportunities.”

Though GS held the lead the entire match and pulled out the win, it wasn’t the prettiest at times. Head Coach Mark Byington wants the team to rest and recover before hitting a hard week of practice for Georgia State.

“To still win by double figures and not play our best, I’ll take that,” Byington said. “I look forward to the fact that our guys can get some rest, since we don’t play again until next Saturday. We’ll have a lot more energy.”

GS has been playing at the top of their game defensively since the top of this six game winning streak. The team looks to continue this pattern against Georgia State, who plays in an alternative version of the zone.

“We need to remain focused. Towards the beginning of the season, our focus probably wasn’t where it is right now,” Crawley said. “Our trust and our focus have leveled up to almost the max. We still have a little more in us.”

GS will be back in action next Saturday against rival Georgia State in Hanner Fieldhouse at 5 p.m. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.

Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu