Georgia Southern trails for only 38 seconds in the game, loses by three to Coastal Carolina 73-76

Ryan Kostensky

The fourth quarter, and the game, ended the way it started, close and highly contested. In the latest installment of this “Battle of the Birds,” the Eagles lead a majority of the game, only trailing for 25 seconds before the final minute of the game came around.

The Chants would take their second lead of the game in the final quarter when guard Caitlin Roche pulled up for a corner three and put the game away. Eagles lose 73-76.

GS dominated the first quarter of play, twice going up by seven or more points, and it was the sophomore guard Tatum Barber who was much to thank for that. Barber scored seven points in the first quarter en route to the team’s nine-point lead, 22-13. The first period saw the Eagles shoot 53 percent through the first 10 minutes of action, while the Chanticleers shot just over 30 percent in that same span.

Coastal went on a 13-5 run early in the first four minutes of the second quarter to pull the game within a point, 27-26. Despite coming out cold offensively and allowing the Chants to take their first lead, the Eagles fought off a 6-0 run and took a 34-30 lead going into the half. GS got a lot of production from the starters, three of which scored at least seven points or more.

Both teams came out exchanging blows in the third quarter, but the Eagles were able to widen their lead behind junior guard Nakol Franks’ 10 third-quarter points. Franks accounted for two of the three-made three pointers, and GS shot 50 percent from beyond the arc for the period. GS would take a 55-48 point lead into the final period of play, behind strong performances by Franks and junior guard Alexis Brown.

Brown led all Eagle players with 20 points off of 5-16 shooting, and Franks was just behind with 17 points off of 5-8 shooting.

GS falls to 2-12 in the conference and 7-18 overall and take a four-game losing streak into their home season finale against App St. on Saturday. Tipoff from Hanner Fieldhouse is set for 2 p.m.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter,