Look out Sun Belt

Robert George

The Georgia Southern Eagles’ men’s basketball team had a successful holiday break, going 6-1 and getting its first win in the Sun Belt.

Tampa, Fl.

The Eagles started the break by making the trip down to Tampa, Fl. and defeating South Florida in a close 68-63 game. Senior guard Jelani Hewitt had a big game, dropping 33 points and nabbing three steals in the victory.

The Eagles then took on Stetson, another team out of Florida, and won 76-67. Hewitt played well again as he scored 30 points and posted four steals to go along with seven rebounds.

Back to Hanner

The Eagles finally returned home to Hanner for the first time in three weeks, and blew out Truett-McConnell 90-57. The Eagles scoring was a little more balanced this game, as four Eagles finished in double digits. Senior forward Trent Wiedeman led the team with 18 points, while Hewitt had 15 points and three steals. Senior guard Curtis Diamond hit nine free throws on his way to 14 points, and Kyle Doyle added 12 points and eight rebounds.


The Eagles then traveled to Texas to play their first game in the Sun Belt, taking on UT Arlington and losing a heartbreaker 62-61. The Mavericks hit a jumper with 14 seconds left to go ahead in the game, and the Eagles missed the potential game winner as Wiedeman’s shot rimmed out as time expired. Senior Eric Ferguson came to play in this game, scoring 17 points and pulling down a career high 16 rebounds.

Conference Home Opener

The Eagles took on Texas State in GSU’s conference home opener and won the very low scoring contest 40-36. Neither team shot the ball well, and both teams committed 18 turnovers in the game.

The Eagles got down early but fought back and took the lead for good when senior forward Angel Matias rebounded his own miss and scored. Wiedeman led the team with 12 points, and Hewitt and Ferguson each added 10.

On the Road Again

The Eagles took back to the road to face Arkansas State and won 73-61. Diamond had a career game, getting his first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Hewitt added 17 points, and Matias and Ferguson each chipped in 11 points a piece.

In the final game before classes started back, the Eagles traveled to Mobile to face South Alabama. The Eagles won 81-73 behind the strong scoring of Hewitt who had 22 points and Diamond who hit four three point shots on his way to 19 points. Wiedeman led the team with nine rebounds to go along with his 12 points. Freshman guard Mike Hughes also had a solid game, scoring 11 points and nabbing three steals.

Wrap Up

The Eagles are now 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the Sun Belt, including a perfect 7-0 at Hanner. The Eagles are led by Hewitt, who leads the team in points per game, assists and steals. Wiedeman has also had a strong season, averaging 14 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds and blocks. The Eagles stalwart defense has been a key factor in many of the wins, as they only allow opposing teams to shoot 38 percent from the field, and hold teams to an average of 60 points a game. They also boast the number one scoring defense in the conference.

The Eagles will look to get their eleventh win on Thursday when they host Louisiana-Lafayette, who is undefeated in the Sun Belt. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m.