Matias injured as Eagles fall to ULL

Layne Saliba

The Georgia Southern men’s basketball team started out slow and was never able to make up for it as they fell to UL Lafayette 68-58 on Saturday night.

”They [ULL] played well. Sometimes it’s not about you playing poorly, it’s about the other team playing well and Lafayette deserves a lot for that,” head coach Mark Byington said in a post-game interview.

Redshirt senior guard Jelani Hewitt led the team with 17 points and two steals while going 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Senior guard Curtis Diamond added 14 points, and redshirt senior forward Eric Ferguson tallied nine boards on the night.

As a team, the Eagles (20-7, 13-5 SBC) shot 35 percent from the field. They also turned the ball over 10 times and were outrebounded 41-33.

Possibly the most worrisome news coming from the loss is the status of senior forward Angel Matias. Matias came out of the game with an ankle injury after playing 13 first half minutes. He did not return.

“We’re all praying for him. He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Byington said in a post-game interview. “We hope it’s not severe, but if he doesn’t come back, then some other guys will have to step up.”

The Ragin’ Cajuns (17-12, 11-7 SBC) got out to an early 11-2 lead just five minutes into the game. However, the Eagles fought back, not letting the game slip away easily.

With 10:31 left in the half, Hewitt made an and-one free throw, closing the gap to 17-13. More of that effort continued to show throughout the matchup, and the Eagles went into the half down 34-33.

Redshirt senior forward Trent Wiedeman came out of halftime and hit a jumper that gave the Eagles their second lead of the game. However, that lead was short lived as ULL continued to shoot what seemed to be perfect from three-point range.

Georgia Southern could not keep up and finally fell to the Ragin’ Cajuns 68-58, but Byington said it is not due to a lack of effort.

“They [ULL] may have had a little more energy than we had, but our guys emptied the tank and gave everything they had,” Byington said in a post-game interview.

The Eagles return home to Hanner Fieldhouse and will have all week to practice before taking on UT Arlington on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for the last home game of the season.