Women’s basketball struggles in first half

Layne Saliba

The first half of Thursday night’s game against Sun Belt Conference opponent Arkansas State (8-5, 3-0) seemed promising for the Georgia Southern women’s basketball team (3-9, 0-3). That is, until the second half. The Eagles lost to the Red Wolves 86-63, despite a close first half score.

Senior guard Anna Claire Knight was the leading scorer for Georgia Southern with 14 points. She was also able to record nine boards on the night, another category in which she led for the team. Sophomore forward/center Patrice Butler followed close behind with 13 points while shooting 67 percent from the field.

However, arguably one of the best players on the team struggled. Sophomore guard Angel McGowan made one shot for two points and gave up three turnovers. The Eagles had trouble stopping Arkansas State’s trio of Aundrea Gamble, Jasmine Hunt and Khadija Brown-Haywood who were able to score a combined 56 points.

“We played aggressively and confidently on the offensive end and did a nice job executing our defensive game plan in the first half,” head coach Chris Vozab said, in a press release following the game. “We knew they would make a run in the second half, and we let them get going in transition. Some of the same shots we were making in the first half didn’t go down in the second half, and they were able to pull away.”

The score remained neck-and-neck throughout the first half with Arkansas State taking a five-point lead, the largest of the half, within the first minute of play. The lead changed eight times during the course of the half and included eight ties.

After the break, Georgia Southern came back with layup from junior forward/center Briana Jones that tied the game at 37-37. But, the Red Wolves were relentless in their scoring, as they went on a 17-2 run, which was followed by another 11-point run shortly after giving them a comfortable 12-point cushion in the last 11 minutes of play. The Eagles were never able to catch back up.

Georgia Southern will head to Mobile, Ala. on Saturday to take on the South Alabama Jaguars (3-10, 0-4). Tip-off is set for 3:05 p.m. Eastern.