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Bucs put four-game winning streak on the line against unbeaten Georgia Southern

Joe Avento • Updated Nov 26, 2018 at 7:25 PM

Two teams with winning streaks will meet Tuesday night when East Tennessee State visits Georgia Southern for a non-conference basketball game.

ETSU has won its last four games and sits at 5-2, while the home-standing Eagles are off to a 5-0 start for the second season in a row.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Georgia, where the Eagles are 2-0 and have averaged just under 2,000 fans this season.

Georgia Southern is second in the country in field goal percentage, making 58.3 percent of its shots. That adds up to averaging 97 points per game, ranking fourth nationally. The Eagles are ranked 17th in the latest CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll.

“Georgia Southern is one of the top scoring teams in the country and will be one of the fastest and most athletic teams we play all year,” ETSU coach Steve Forbes said. “They are one of the top teams in the Sun Belt Conference and will be a formidable challenge for our team on the road.”

ETSU has won its last four games without the services of Bo Hodges, who has been out with a nagging groin injury. Hodges still hasn’t practiced since the injury and will not play Tuesday night.

Tray Boyd stepped into the starting lineup and has taken over the team’s scoring lead, averaging 12.7 points per game. The Bucs share the wealth when it comes to scoring. Six players are averaging in double figures. Joining Boyd are Jeromy Rodriguez (11.7), Isaiah Tisdale (10.7), Hodges (10.7), Mladen Armus (10.4) and Patrick Good (10.0).

BEASTS OF THE BOARDS

With Rodriguez and Armus leading the way, the Bucs average 16 more rebounds than their opponents. Only Kentucky and San Francisco are better among the 351 NCAA Division I teams.

Rodriguez leads the team at 12.7 rebounds a game, fifth in the country, and Armus gets 10.0, tied for 24th nationally. ETSU is the only team in the country with two players averaging in double figures.

SCOUTING GEORGIA SOUTHERN

The Eagles won three games in three days to capture the Bahamas Showcase. They beat Florida Atlantic, Pepperdine and Montana to win the pre-Thanksgiving tournament.

The championship might have been costly. Quan Jackson, the Eagles’ leading scorer and rebounder, was injured in the first game and didn’t play in the other two. He’s averaging 20.7 and 7 rebounds per game and isn’t listed among the starters for Tuesday night’s game.

Tookie Brown was the MVP of the Bahamas tournament. He’s averaging 18.2 points per game. Georgia Southern has five players scoring in double figures.

Like the Bucs, the Eagles are tough on the glass, getting six more rebounds than their opponents.

HISTORY

This will be the 31st meeting between the two schools. Georgia Southern leads the series 17-13. The Bucs beat the Eagles last year, 79-59, in the second game of what turned out to be a 16-game winning streak for ETSU.

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