Red Wolves outlast Eagles in Sun Belt play

Red Wolves outlast Eagles in Sun Belt play
Photo courtesy: KAIT

JONESBORO, AR (WTOC) - A conference win on the road would've been nice for Georgia Southern, but it wasn't in the cards.

The Red Wolves outscored the Eagles 91-89 in Jonesboro Saturday, dropping GS to 7-4 in Sun Belt Conference play.

"It's a hard game with no pace, no rhythm and no consistency. It was very, very hard for our guys to get in a rhythm," Georgia Southern head coach Mark Byington told "I thought our guys played really hard, and I thought they were in-tune and ready to play. I like the way our guys kept playing and fought through some difficult things."

The Eagles scored 52 points in the second half, but 17 of those came from the free throw line. The Sun Belt officials weren't afraid to blow the whistle Saturday. The two teams combined for 61 personal fouls and 73 free throws.

Tookie Brown had a chance to tie the game at the foul line with 3.1 seconds to play, but the first of his three free throws rattled out. Brown sank the next two to cut the Eagle deficit to just one. After the Red Wolves went 1-2 from the line, Brown's full court heave fell short as time expired.

The Eagles have now dropped three of their last five games, but have five of their final seven regular season games at home. Byington hopes being back in Statesboro will give his team a second wind.

"Just the opposite of last year, when we finished with five of seven on the road and faded at the end, I'm hoping we can get energized by playing five of seven at home," he says. "We need to have an upward trajectory the rest of February and start playing our best basketball of the year."

Mike Hughes led the Eagles with 27 points and six rebounds.

Georgia Southern opens a key three-game home stand Thursday when they host ULM.