MIAMI - Georgia Southern women's basketball used a stellar defensive effort and clutch second-half free throw shooting to pick up an 81-69 victory over host FIU on Wednesday afternoon at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami.
The Eagles (6-2) picked up their fourth straight win by knocking off the Panthers (3-4) for their first road win of the season.
Georgia Southern knocked down 4-of-4 three-pointers to build a 24-17 lead in the first quarter, then took a 42-36 lead at the break. Despite the six-point lead, the Eagles hit just 8-of-14 free throws.
In the second half, the Eagles opened the period on a 9-2 run to build a 51-38 lead with 6:27 left in the frame. FIU would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way as Georgia Southern held the Panthers to just 27.8 percent shooting from the floor after halftime and only 29.2 percent for the game.
Terren Ward hit for a season-high 29 points to lead the Eagles, while Simone James added 14 points - 12 in the first half. FIU was led by Angena Belloso's 11 points and Sariana Rodriguez Camacho's 10 points off the bench.
Eagle of the Game
Ward notched her fourth straight double-double, adding 10 rebounds to go with her 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-7 three-pointers. It's the second time in her career she has recorded double-doubles in four straight games and Ward now has 120 career threes, tying her for 13th on the all-time Georgia Southern chart.
Stat of the Game
After shooting just 57 percent from the free throw line in the first half, Georgia Southern hit 14-of-16 free throws in the second half, including making the first eight straight.
Head Coach Anita Howard on the first road win of the year for the Eagles
"I'm just pleased with how hard we played throughout the whole game. It's hard to get a win, especially on the road. So I challenged our ladies, I told them that we've take care of business in Hanner, but now it's time to put it together on the road. It was a big ugly, with 25 turnovers and the subpar free throw shooting in the first half, but those are the games you want to see who is going to step up. I'm glad we walked away with a win."
The Eagles break for final exams and will return to action on Monday, December 11, travelling to Chicago State for a 3 p.m. contest in Chicago against the Cougars.