In an unpredictable Southern Conference basketball season, no team has been more SoCon-like than Georgia Southern.
Last month, the Eagles knocked off SoCon South Division powers Davidson and College of Charleston in back-to-back games, then promptly lost to a Citadel team riding a 12-game losing streak.
Since then, GSU has lost five of seven games — two of them in overtime — heading into tonight’s game at The Citadel.
At 10-15 overall and 4-8 in the SoCon, the Eagles have fallen out of contention for a first-round bye in the SoCon tournament. But coach Charlton Young is hoping to rediscover the team that beat the Wildcats and Cougars before heading to Asheville.
“We’re 4-8, but we could easily be 8-4 in the league if we had handled the last minute of some of these games,” Young said. “In our last few games, we’ve been up in the final minute but we’ve split those games. Last year, we won those one-possession games.”
The Eagles’ 70-55 loss to The Citadel on Jan. 19 was not one of those one-possession games. The Bulldogs (6-17, 3-10) snapped their 12-game skid in a big way as they shot 60 percent at Hanner Field House, led by 21 points from freshman Matt Van Scyoc.
Senior center Mike Groselle added 15 points and eight rebounds in that game.
“We’re going to have to battle until the end,” Young said. “I think The Citadel has the best big man in the SoCon in Groselle, and he’s a real matchup problem for us. They’ve been up and down, but they are a tough matchup for us.”
After winning two straight and three of five, the Bulldogs suffered through a tough road trip last week, losing 89-76 at Chattanooga and 79-67 at Samford. Defense was the chief problem, as foes combined to shoot 58 percent overall and 42 percent from 3-point range in those two games.
We’ve got to go through the film with a fine-tooth come and figure out what the problem is and work on our defense,” Citadel coach Chuck Driesell said after the Samford game. “That’s what is costing us these games.”