The Georgia Southern men’s basketball team will host the University of Louisiana on Monday at 7 p.m. for the second round of the Sun Belt Tournament.
Last Tuesday, GS played their last regular season game of the season against Arkansas State. The team lost by one point after giving up an 11-point lead. It is the first time in three years that GS did not finish with at least 20 wins and this is the largest senior class of Byington’s seven year tenure. With the loss, GS dropped from third to fifth seed.
“I mean we’re all heartbroken about this,” Head Coach Mark Byington said. “We played so much into this with all the hours put in and for it to come down to something like that, it’s unfortunate. It’s a bad ending.”
GS will look to right the ship on their home court against the Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana beat out Arkansas State on Saturday in the first round of tournament play. This was their first Sun Belt Championship win in the Cajundome since 1998 and sent the Red Wolves home empty handed.
GS has defeated Louisiana both times the pair have met this season. In the first game, GS defeated UL by 20 points, and seven in the second meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are led by freshman guard Mylik Wilson on defense. Coming out of high school, he was the No.1 player in Louisiana. He currently leads the team with 68 steals and 81 assists. He averages about 12 points per game and was recently named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year. He has been known to be a very decisive playmaker, but GS held him to nine points during their last meeting.
The team holds a 14-18 overall record, while carrying an 8-12 conference record.
GS hopes to keep everyone healthy and out of foul trouble in this matchup. Redshirt-senior forward Simeon Carter notably went down with an ankle injury in the second half of the last game, but is expected to play. Last second fouls and critical free throws have been the deciding factor of many conference games for the Eagles.
This contest is crucial for both teams, as the winner will go on to compete in the next round of the tournament. The victor will travel to Atlanta to play Georgia State on Wednesday.
Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, email@example.com