GAME NOTES: The Georgia Southern Eagles seek their first road win of the season, as they battle the West Virginia Mountaineers as part of the Cancun Challenge at WVU Coliseum.
The Eagles won both of their home dates in remarkable fashion with a 110-74 victory over Columbia International and, five days ago, a 104-50 thrashing of Toccoa Falls. In between, the team took Miami to overtime before bowing in an 81-80 final on the road.
As for the Mountaineers, they too are showing a 2-1 record at this point in time, splitting their two victories over Mount St. Mary's (77-62) and Duquesne (96-83) with an 87-82 loss at Virginia Tech on Nov. 12. On a positive note, West Virginia has a home record of 67-3 versus non-conference opponents over the last 11 seasons.
The Mountaineers won both previous meetings against Georgia Southern.
Against Toccoa Falls at Hanner Fieldhouse, Tre Bussey scored a game-high 29 points and also pulled down nine rebounds as he shot an impressive 11-of-13 from the field, including 7-of-9 behind the 3-point line. Jelani Hewitt responded with another 23 points and filled out his stat line with seven assists, six rebounds and seven steals, the latter being one of the school's single-game records. Kyle Doyle pitched in with 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench for a group that shot 56.5 percent from the field and 17-of-35 out on the perimeter, not to mention coming up with 24 forced turnovers.
Hewitt is averaging a hefty 25.0 ppg for the Eagles, and he also has 16 assists which is almost twice as many as any of his teammates. Bussey accounts for another 23.0 ppg, shooting better from the field (.694) than he is at the free-throw line (.667) for a program that has converted 53.9 percent from the floor, en route to a robust 98.0 ppg.
Eron Harris scored a game-high 33 points as the Mountaineers posted the double-digit win over Duquesne at home on Sunday. Harris shot 12-of-19 from the floor, including 6-of-8 behind the 3-point line for WVU, while Juwan Staten accounted for 28 points and nine assists, knocking down 14-of-19 shots at the free-throw line along the way. Also scoring in double figures for the Mountaineers was Devin Williams with 18 points, to go along with 10 rebounds. West Virginia finished the contest shooting an impressive 58.9 percent from the field and 55.6 percent beyond the arc, but just 58.8 percent (20-of-34) at the charity stripe.
Harris and Staten are clearly the driving forces for the Mountaineers this season, the former averaging 22.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg, while the latter comes up with not only 20.0 ppg, but also 5.7 rpg and 7.3 apg. Of his 60 points on the campaign, Staten has tallied 26 of them at the free-throw line, while Harris has exploded out on the perimeter with 10-of-19 accuracy
The Eagles are outscoring the competition by almost 30.0 ppg at the moment, but a look at the schedule and the competition tells you that many of the stats for Georgia Southern early on are somewhat hollow. The team will get a much better sense of its talent level tonight, and more likely another tally in the loss column.
Game Date and Time