Basketball

Sophomore guard Tatum Barber (23) led the Eagles against University of Louisiana Lafayette with 20 points and 13 rebounds on the night.

Georgia Southern Women's basketball hosted Louisiana on Thursday and came out with a 79-71 lead behind 20 points from sophomore guard Tatum Barber.

The first quarter of play started off slowly for both teams who both couldn't seem to hit a three-pointer, but it was GS who was able to take advantage of the low post, finishing with an 18-14 lead.

The Eagles would go 2-10 from behind the arc, but despite the early shooting deficiencies remained persistent and willing to take long shots. Redshirt-freshman forward Alisha Owens led GS in points the first quarter, going 3-4 on field goals en route to six points.

GS and Louisiana remained locked in a closely-contested game in the second period, as shots began to fall more regularly for both teams. After shooting just over 41 percent from the field in the first, the Eagles followed up that with a 60 percent second quarter. Barber propelled the GS offense with an important 13-point quarter. Barber and company outplayed the Ragin' Cajuns down the stretch, leading to a 41-35 advantage.

Louisiana came out firing in the third quarter, erasing a six-point deficit and taking their first lead since the first period. GS didn't make their first bucket of the quarter until junior guard Alexis Brown knocked down a three pointer with 6:17 remaining.

Brown led GS in points in the third period with five. Despite the run that the team formerly known as ULL made, the Eagles were able to finish strong and head into the fourth quarter with a four point lead, 54-50.

The Eagles entered the final period of play with a four-point lead, hungry to get what would be just their second Sun Belt Conference victory of the season. After getting a 10-point lead with under five minutes remaining, GS allowed a 7-0 run to the Ragin' Cajuns making the game closer than what was comfortable, but would end up pulling away yet again.

Barber and Brown led the way for the Eagles with 20 points and 18 points respectively, and it wasn't until the final few minutes of play that GS would have an insurmountable lead.

GS improves to 7-14 overall, 2-8 conference, and hosts UL Monroe on Saturday inside the friendly confines. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu

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