What the men’s basketball team did over the break

Marqus Williams and Hayden Boudreaux


While most students took the road trip home after finals week, the Georgia Southern basketball team went on a different kind of road trip to face off against the defending national champions, the Duke Blue Devils. The Eagles were able to hang around at the beginning but ultimately fell, 99-65.

The Eagles opened the game with a quick defensive rebound, a steal, and a layup to grab the first points of the game. Tookie Brown led the team with 20 points. four assists and two steals.

In the end, the size and athleticism of Duke was too much for the Eagles to overcome. The game was a great learning experience for Georgia Southern as likely the best team they will face all season.

“I wanted our guys to see their culture. How hard (Duke) played kind of knocked us on our heels. When they missed the shot, they went and got it. That’s a championship culture,” Coach Byington said following the game.

“Yeah we had butterflies in us at first but we played good at the beginning,” Brown said about playing in Cameron Indoor. “We started giving up on balls towards the end of the game though. It’s a learning experience.”

The all time winningest coach in college basketball had some compliments on the Eagles and Brown’s performance. “He’s a good player,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said about Brown. “I think he’s their most poised player. As a freshman, he ran his team well. He just adds stability. I thought he had really good poise, and he never got tired.”

Non-conference slate

The Eagles finished up the non-conference schedule by splitting a pair of home games. They fell to Winthrop 88-81 and defeated Stetson 75-58. Tookie Brown scored 20+ points in both games. The Eagles had one of the their best defensive efforts all season against Stetson, forcing 18 turnovers and 11 steals while scoring 13 points off turnovers.

Sun Belt woes

The Eagles dropped the first three games of the Sun Belt to Texas State, UT Arlington and South Alabama. The offense sputtered in the three-game stretch, averaging 65 points, a number way below their season average. They also turned the ball over more than usual which led to the losses. Coach Byington said that the team stayed focused and didn’t get discouraged by the losses.

“We got a vision of where we want this thing to go,” Byington said. “The losses take a lot out of you. I want the guys to understand that if they do everything right, we’re gonna win more.”

First Sun Belt win

The Eagles hung on in overtime to get their first Sunbelt Conference win against the Troy Trojans 93-88. The Eagles offense had one of it’s best performances all season as they shot 53 percent from the floor and 32 percent from long range. Sophomore Jake Allsmiller sparked the Eagles by hitting three 3 pointers in the first four minutes of the game giving the Eagles more confidence in their offense for the game.

The team combined for 44 points in the paint as multiple players contributed to the effort as they keyed in on passing the ball around to create open shots with sophomore, MikeHughes, led the way with 22 points. “We just knew we had to go out there and do whatever we needed to do to win,” Hughes said.

Tookie Brown, Jake Allsmiller and Ike Smith each made a big impact in the game scoring 19,16, and 16 points respectively giving their team the balance they needed in the game.

“I’m really proud of the fact they fought and they did not give in. Tookie Brown made some big plays and Ike Smith, Jake, and Mike without Montae Glenn, a lot of guys came in mixing and matching the lineup and we’re glad the result came out for our guys” Byington said. The win moved the Eagles to a 17-4 home record in their last 21 contests. They’ll prepare for a two game home stand starting Thursday against Louisiana-Lafayette at 7:30 p.m.