Hanner Fieldhouse seemed to be the place to be on January 15, 2015 as the Georgia Southern Men’s Basketball Team defeated conference rival University of Louisiana at Lafayette 78-70 and earned the top spot in the Sunbelt.
The facility sold out as 4,325 fans packed the arena and cheered on the Eagles to victory and an 11-3 record.
Trent Wiedeman, a redshirt sophomore, competed in last night’s game and assisted the team as starting Forward.
“Our goal is to win the Sun Belt,” Wiedeman said. “I think we have got off to a great start in conference play so far but we know we have to take it one game at a time because every conference game is going to be tough.”
As the team still has plenty of competition left, the Eagles are slowly proving themselves in the new conference, as the football team did in the fall. As a new member of this Division 1A conference, GSU teams have stepped up their training and focuses on not only competing well but knowing they have the ability to win championships.
As the game began, Eagles took an early lead of 9-6 at the 11:37 mark in the first half as ULL called their first timeout. The Eagles kept control throughout the game as they led by a score of 35-27 at the :30 mark. ULL called another timeout before the half, but GSU came out of the half by scoring their first 2 points in under a minute.
As the second half continued, Eagles continued to stay on top of conference rival and led 61-52 at the 5:00 minute mark. With 1:00 left on the clock, Eagles led 71-64 while fouls by ULL continued. As the final buzzer hit, Eagles earned their eleventh victory of the season by a score of 78-70 and took the number one spot in the Sunbelt.
Jake Allsmiller, a freshman starter as a Guard in last night’s game, recognizes the difference in level and play from high school but knows that the team has the ability to continue improving its record as the season continues.
“College is a lot different than high school but the seniors have been great leaders and helped the younger guys adjust quickly to the speed and style of college basketball,” Allsmiller said. “Every team is tough but we have been handling business and learning along the way.”
The Eagles continue play on the road this weekend in Alabama as they take on another conference rival, Troy University Saturday at 5 p.m. They will continue play on the road until January 29 when they return home to compete against conference rival Appalachian State.