STATESBORO, Ga. --- Senior Donte Gennie scored a career high 28 points to help Georgia Southern defeat Wofford 83-78 Monday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.
GSU evens its Southern Conference record at 2-2 after an 0-2 start and is now 9-6 overall. Wofford falls to 5-11 and 0-5.
“You do what you have to do to win,” said GSU head coach Jeff Price. “I’ve never had another team force me to play five guards and they literally forced me to do that. They spread us out and were driving on our post players and we were fouling - they’re just a great shooting team. We got stops when we had to - our defense isn’t where it needs to be - but our effort was good.”
GSU placed five players in double-figures: Gennie, junior Dwayne Foreman had 14, junior Louis Graham and senior Jimmy Tobias each had 11 and senior Diogo Salazar recorded a career-high 10 off the bench.
The Terriers were led by Eric Marshall who had a career-best 33 points, shooting 11-for-14 from the field (3-for-3 from 3-point land) and 8-for-8 from the foul line. Shane Nichols poured in 21 and Drew Gibson had 13.
Georgia Southern was slow out of the gate, missing its first three shots
with two turnovers which helped enable the Terriers to jump out to a 6-0 lead.
It was the Marshall and Nichols show early on for Wofford as the combo started 7-for-7 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc.
The Eagles led for the first time, 18-16, at the 12:51 mark, but not for long. Nichols reclaimed the lead with a trifecta and held the advantage for another six minutes.
The game went back-and-forth until GSU took control with a 9-0 run, capped off with a trey from Gennie, to go up 41-34 with 2:22 to go in the half.
Gennie came through again with a fall-down triple from the left corner at the buzzer and Georgia Southern went into halftime with the momentum and a 49-40 lead.
Gennie had 19 of his 28 points in the first 20 minutes, the most by a GSU player in a half this season.
The opening moments of the second period belonged to Wofford thanks to an 8-0 rally, but the Terriers were unable to grab a hold of the contest. Wofford pulled even (58-58) at the 12:10 mark and kept Georgia Southern in reach.
A Marshall jumper cut the deficit to 70-69 with 6:08 left, but seven straight points gave GSU the cushion it needed. Wofford would get to within three with just over a minute left, but no closer.
Georgia Southern dominated the glass, outrebounding the Terriers 47-28, led by Graham’s 12. He notched his seventh double-double of the season.
“Our rebounding was really good,” said Price. “We’ve rebounded well in the last two games, averaging 15 offensive rebounds and I’ve been really pleased with that.”