Men’s basketball continues to impress

Layne Saliba

Last week was a successful one for the Georgia Southern men’s basketball team (4-1) as the Eagles were able to go 3-0 and improve their winning streak to four in a row.

“Hopefully we can keep using this as confidence and keep building and keep learning because it’s a long season, it’s a long race and we’re just getting started in it,” Head Coach Mark Byington said in a postgame interview.

Georgia Southern vs. Johnson University (Fla.)

This seemed more like a scrimmage than anything else. Behind a striking 58 first half points for Georgia Southern, the Eagles were able to rotate every player on the roster into the game, giving much needed experience to the young players on the team. Each player played at least five minutes, and each player scored at least two points.

The most impressive player of the night was senior forward Angel Matias who was able to record his fourth career double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

A facet in which the Eagles have struggled this season was kept to a minimum as the team was able to keep turnovers to a slim count of six.

With help from all of the struggles that the Suns (2-6) had throughout the game, Georgia Southern was able to pull off their largest win of the season, with a final score of 97-41.

Georgia Southern vs. Florida International

Both teams had troubles in the first half, shooting under 40 percent from the floor. But the Eagles were able to outrebound the Panthers (4-3) giving them a slim 34-30 lead going into the half.

As the second half began, Georgia Southern broke away with a 13 point lead with 10 minutes of play remaining. The Panthers fought back bringing the game within two points with 1:26 left to play.

The most valuable player of the night award, without a doubt, went to redshirt senior guard Jelani Hewitt who set a career high 33 points and another career high 14-15 from the free-throw line.

Behind the Panthers’ turnovers that added 21 points for the Eagles, and with Hewitt’s impressive performance, Georgia Southern was able to record a close 78-72 victory over FIU.

Georgia Southern vs. South Carolina State

It was a nice first half for the Bulldogs (1-4) as they shot 52 percent from the floor. Although Matias was able to block a shot and drive down the court for a dunk with just 17 seconds remaining, South Carolina State headed to the locker room with a 35-31 lead.

During the second half, there were seven lead changes. But after a freshman guard Jake Allsmiller three-pointer, with 5:49 left in the contest, Georgia Southern gained a 56-53 lead, which they were able to keep for the remainder of the game.

As the clock wound down, Allsmiller added two more from behind the arc, followed by five straight free-throws from Hewitt to seal the victory with a final score of 71-58.

The Eagles were able score 40 points and hold the Bulldogs to 26 percent from the floor during the second half which drove them to their fourth straight win.

Hewitt scored a game high 23 points during the contest, while redshirt senior forward Trent Wiedeman added 18 points and eight boards. In addition, freshman guard Mike Hughes recorded 11 points and seven rebounds during his 34 minutes of play.