Women’s Basketball Opens Sun Belt Tournament Play on Tuesday

Thomas Jilk

The Georgia Southern women’s basketball team is coming off a 63-62 road loss to Georgia State on Saturday in which Georgia State junior guard Makeba Ponder made a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the game.

Despite the loss, the Eagles will retain a higher seed than the Panthers in this week’s Sun Belt Championship tournament in New Orleans. Georgia Southern enters the tournament as the no. 6 seed while State will be the no. 7 seed.

The first opponent for the Eagles will be the no. 11 seed Arkansas State Red Wolves on Tuesday, March 7 at 8:30 p.m. The Eagles recently beat Arkansas State 84-76 on February 25. Awaiting the winner of GS against ASU will be the no. 3 seed Troy Trojans, who have beaten Georgia Southern twice this season.

Top-seeded Little Rock will face the winner of Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State. No. 7 seed Georgia State will matchup on Tuesday at 6 p.m. with no. 10 seed South Alabama for the right to play no. 2 seed UT-Arlington.

Players to watch

GS senior forward Patrice Butler and senior guard Angel McGowan are in the home stretches of their storied careers in Statesboro. Both Butler and McGowan were recently named to this season’s Sun Belt All-Conference Second Team. Butler is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, while McGowan is averaging 16.7 point per game. Alexis Brown, freshman guard, is leading the conference with a 52.2 percent from three.

Jaylyn Gordon, Lousiana-Lafayette junior guard, and Sharde’ Collins, Little-Rock junior guard, lead the Sun Belt with 17.5 and 17.4 points per game, respectively. Caitlyn Ramirez, Troy senior forward, is leading the conference with 11.4 rebounds per game.

Rebekah VanDijk, UT-Arlington junior center, is second in the conference in shooting percentage with 58.7 percent. While South Alabama has the leading blocker in Chyna Ellis, junior forward, who is averaging 3.4 blocks per game.

Collins, Gordon, VanDijk and Ramirez were all named First Team All-Conference along with Kaitlyn Pratt, Little-Rock senior forward.


The Sun Belt Basketball Championships promise a berth in the NCAA tournament for the winner. The women’s tournament begins Tuesday, March 7. All games in the tournaments will be played at Lakefront Arena In New Orleans. All tournament games will be streamed live on ESPN3.

For the full bracket, please click here.