STATESBORO– Georgia Southern men's basketball (0-8) returned home and nearly pulled out its first win of the season, but fell in a close 81-79 effort to Jacksonville (6-2) on Saturday, December 2, 2023.
It was a battle of who would score last in the first half, as the Eagles overcame an early 10-3 deficit to take a lead. Leading 39-37 with less than five seconds left, a Jacksonville buzzer-beater put the Dolphins in front by one heading into the break.
The Eagles shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half and 50 percent from three as both teams traded blows.
Out of the locker room, Jacksonville went on an 8-0 run to take a 60-50 lead midway through. However, the Eagles rode the hot hand of Tyren Moore, who scored
The last three minutes of the game were a mad dash. Eugene Brown III, who made his return after missing the first seven games due to a hip injury, converted an and-one opportunity to tie the game, and Eren Banks tied the game again after a Jacksonville three with one of his own.
Moore gave the Eagles a brief 79-76 lead with a three to reach the 30-point plateau, a career-best as an Eagle, but Jacksonville's Robert McCray recorded eight points in the final minute and converted a lob to get a two-point lead with eight seconds left.
With an open look from the corner for the win, Brown couldn't bury it and the Dolphins snatched an 81-79 win from the Eagles.
In a game that featured eight ties and six lead changes, both Moore (30) and McCray (32) passed the 30-point threshold. Moore was the first Eagle to do so since Carlos Curry against Oglethorpe on Nov. 26, 2022.
Also joining Moore in double figures were Jamar Franklin (12) and Brown (11) in the loss. The Eagles shot 51.9 percent from the floor and 56.5 percent from three.
Georgia Southern returns to the floor on Dec. 9 at North Florida.