A win over the conference-leading Ragin' Cajuns would've helped ease some of the angst for Georgia Southern fans these days, but it wasn't to be.
Louisiana outscored the Eagles 102-91 Saturday in Statesboro, handing Mark Byington's bunch their third straight loss and fifth in their last seven games.
""I'm really proud of our guys' effort. I thought we played really hard," Byington said. "What let us down was our transition defense and our rebounding. We gave up too many important threes in the first half."
Tookie Brown scored a game-high 29 points despite sitting much of the first half after getting in early foul trouble. Brown earned his second personal with a charge with 17 minutes left in the first half.
"The whole game changed when Tookie got his second foul. We started the game great, and I thought everything was working well, and when he got his second foul, we were able to keep battling and battling for a while," Byington said. "I thought David Jones did a good job of holding us together in the first half, but some guys started getting tired. There was a couple times where it was mental fatigue as much as physical fatigue."
The Cajuns closed the first half on a 16-2 run that gave them the lead they held for the rest of the game. Byington says the final two and a half minutes of the first decided the game.
"We made some defensive errors, some transition defense errors, and some rebounding errors," he said. "We made too many defensive errors and gave them too many chances to beat a good team, and we have to fix it."
The Eagles now have six days before they take the court again. Georgia Southern hosts archrival Georgia State Friday night in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Byington says that much time between games will be good for his team.
"We need practice and we need some rest," he says. "We just have to make sure we get back to work. We still have everything in front of us right now."
The loss sends the Eagles to 16-10 overall, and 7-6 in Sun Belt Conference play.