Senior guard Curtis Diamond added 19 points off the bench for Georgia Southern as the Eagles (10-3, 3-1 SBC) rose to second place in the Sun Belt with a 81-73 win over South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.
GSU has now won 10 of its last 12 games.
The leading scorer in the conference, senior guard Jelani Hewitt, put up 22 points and four assists in the win. Hewitt was 9-12 from the free-throw line.
The Jaguars got off to an abnormally hot start hitting their first four three-point attempts, jumping out to 12-2 lead. But, GSU continued to work the ball inside and eventually fought its way back to a three-point game at halftime.
The Eagles took their first lead on a downtown connection from Hewitt to go up 36-34 in the first minute of the second half. There were a couple of lead changes in the following minutes, but GSU started to pull away after a 6-0 run around the 11-minute mark.
Georgia Southern forced 16 turnovers and scored 25 points off of turnovers. The bench added 29 points, led by Diamond’s 19, for the Eagles. They also won the battle in the paint, outscoring the Jaguars 36-24 down low.
Sophomore guard Ken Williams had a stellar night for USA with a game-high 23 points. Williams was 4-8 from beyond the arc and shot 46.7% from the field. The Jaguars dropped to 4-11 on the season.
GSU played its second road game in three days against a middle-of-the-pack South Alabama team and will return home to face first-place Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
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