Eagles fall in heartbreaker to Arkansas State

Georgia Southern’s men’s basketball team ousted in first round of conference tournament

DJ Cadden, Correspondent

Many Eagle fans believed the men’s basketball team could make some noise in this weekend’s Sun Belt Tournament in Pensacola; despite this hope, just like the women’s, the Eagles’ championship dreams were quickly shut down.

The game between the Eagles and the Arkansas State Red Wolves was tight from the very beginning. Both teams found runs, but they would lose their lead by allowing a run from the opposing team.

With under a minute left in the game, Zack Bryant made two free throws to pull the Eagles within one; however, a necessary foul to extend the game allowed the Red Wolves to push the lead back to three.

With 11 seconds remaining, the Eagles had one last shot. After making its way up the court, the ball found itself in the hands of Gedi Juozapaitis.

Juozapaitis hoisted a straight-away three, but the shot found itself just a few inches short. After another GS foul, the Red Wolves escaped with a 62-58 win.

Despite the loss, first-year head coach Brian Burg was impressed with the fight shown by his players.

“I think the group had a valiant effort,” said Burg. “We didn’t capitalize, but I thought we had a very hard effort, especially in the second half.”

For the Red Wolves, Malcolm Farrington led the way with 16 points. Although, the player of the game for Arkansas State had to be Norchad Omier, who accumulated 10 points and 18 rebounds.

On the GS side, Gedi Juozapaitis racked up 12 points and was the only Eagle to eclipse double digits. Elijah McCadden and Kamari Brown also impressed with 10 rebounds a piece.

Perhaps the area that hurt the Eagles the most is the free throw line, where GS went just 9-17 (52%). Free throw struggles seemed to become a theme for the Eagles throughout the 2020-21 season.

Even after such a tough loss, Burg was optimistic about the direction the program is heading.

“We’re a development program,” said Burg, “We’re going to continue to work. We want to develop our players. We’re going to continue to recruit. We want to make sure that our culture stays intact and continue to improve in that area.”