Freshman guard Mike Hughes connected on a layup with 1:39 left that proved to be the game winner as Georgia Southern basketball escaped Texas State with a 45-43 win.
Points were at a premium tonight as two of the top defensive teams in the Sun Belt battled it out in this low-scoring affair. The difference tonight was three-pointers, and the Eagles shot plenty of them.
GSU was 5-22 from beyond the arc, which is not a good number, but the Bobcats were a mere 1-11 from three. The Eagles missed more three-pointers than usual, but they made just enough to pull out the victory.
Senior guard Jelani Hewitt led the charge with 14 points, nine of which came from downtown. Senior center Trent Wiedeman wasn’t far behind with 12 points and six rebounds. Hewitt and Wiedeman scored all but two of the team’s 22 points in the first half.
The rest of the game was much more balanced. Six other players accounted for 17 points in the second half.
The Eagles watched a 38-33 lead slowly disappear over the last eight minutes of the game as Texas State tied it up at 43-43 with 1:58 left to play. In the next two minutes, only one shot went in – the game winner from Hughes. Hughes finished seven points on 3-8 shooting.
The Bobcats took themselves out of this game with their poor free throw shooting. They shot 8-15 from the charity stripe. GSU was 8-9 from the line.
When these teams met back on Jan. 3, the outcome was almost identical when GSU beat the Bobcats 40-36 for its first-ever Sun Belt victory.
GSU improved its record to 12-4overall and 5-2 in the Sun Belt. They currently sit in second place in the conference.
Georgia Southern is back in action on Saturday against the No. 1 team in the league, Louisiana-Monroe. The Eagles are in for what may be their toughest game this season on the road. Tip-off is set for 5p.m. EST.
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