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GS Lady Eagles Win 20th, Defeat Georgia State 67-61

Georgia Southern Lady Eagles wins 20 games for the first time in 20 years, head to SBC Tournament next week
GS Lady Eagles

ATLANTA - Georgia Southern women's basketball concluded the 2022-23 regular season with a 67-61 Sun Belt Conference win over Georgia State, becoming a 20-win team for the first time in 20 seasons.

The last time the Eagles (20-7, 12-6 SBC) won 20 games in a season was the 2002-03 squad that went 20-10. This season is the 11th 20-win season in Georgia Southern women's basketball history. Georgia State falls to 11-20 overall and 5-13 in the Sun Belt with the loss.

Both teams started out hot from long range as each team hit its first three three-point shots. The Eagles built a 23-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, and stretched that lead to nine, 39-30, at the break.

The Eagles pushed that lead to 11 early in the third quarter, but Georgia State stormed back and cut the deficit to two, 49-47, with 2:05 left in the third quarter. A 30 second time out taken by Georgia Southern led to a 6-0 run by the Eagles to close out the period and Georgia State did not get within three points the rest of the way.

Terren Ward's double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds led the Eagles on the night, while three Panthers reached double figures, led by Deasia Merrill's 16 points.

Player of the Game
Shy Booker went a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for eight points, her best scoring night in Sun Belt play this season. She added six rebounds and a steal as well in 18 minutes of action.

Head Coach Anita Howard on holding off the second-half charge by the Panthers
"I think we showed our poise and discipline. It was the same thing in the game back home, we knew they were going to battle. I'm glad we came out with the win. I thought they shot the ball extremely well in their gym, but we were able to withstand their run."

On the first 20-win season for Georgia Southern women's basketball in 20 years
"Honestly, I'm surprised it took four years. But I've enjoyed the process. We've laid the foundation. For the 20th win to come in the last game of the regular season - it's something we wanted to do and accomplish. So hats off to the ladies who put in the work and our recruits who took a chance on us. But we're not done. Eagle Nation showed up tonight, some came from Statesboro and some from right here in Atlanta. We needed them. I hope they travel down to Pensacola!"

Next Up
The Sun Belt Conference will release the tournament bracket later this evening. Georgia Southern will play on Wednesday in its first tournament game against an opponent to be determined.