Sophomore guard Donny McClendon led the Bulldogs with 31 points.
Feb. 15, 2005
Statesboro, GA - Elton Nesbitt suffered through one of the worst games of his basketball career last month at The Citadel.
On Monday night, the Georgia Southern guard made the Bulldogs pay for it.
Nesbitt, who didn't make a single 3-pointer in the Eagles' loss at The Citadel on Jan. 8, rang up 10 of the long-distance shots Monday and scored 38 points as Georgia Southern blitzed the Bulldogs by 115-81 at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The performance more than made up for Nesbitt's 0-of-11 showing from 3-point range in the Eagles' 76-65 loss at The Citadel last month, and pushed Georgia Southern a game ahead of College of Charleston in the race for second place in the Southern Conference South Division.
Georgia Southern improved to 16-9 overall and 9-4 in the SoCon, while The Citadel lost its sixth straight game to slip to 12-11 and 4-9.
Nesbitt, a 5-10 junior, scored at least 38 points for the third time this season, and helped the Eagles post the highest point total against The Citadel since North Carolina took a 118-50 win over the Bulldogs in 1990-91.
It was the first time the Bulldogs had allowed 100 points in a game since a 105-68 loss to Chattanooga in 1994-95, and only the second time a team coached by Pat Dennis had given up 100. Only eight times in their history have the Bulldogs allowed more than the 115 points Georgia Southern scored.
"I knew they'd shoot the ball very, very well at their home gym," Dennis said.
"We tried everything -- man, zone, whatever -- and they were just on fire. We didn't defend very well, but we really didn't play that badly. We just had no answer for them."
Nesbitt, who made 10 of 12 from 3-point range, was not the only Eagle to exact retribution against the Bulldogs. Senior guard Terry Williams, who missed all seven of his 3-pointers in that first game, was 6 of 12 and scored 25 points Monday.
The Eagles, who shot 29.2 percent at McAlister Field House in January, made 42 of 77 shots (55 percent) on Monday, including 16 of 28 (57 percent) from 3-point range.
Sophomore guard Donny McLendon hit 9 of 16 shots and scored a career-best 31 points to lead the Bulldogs, and freshman Travis Smith made four treys and added 14 points. Freshman Warren McLendon had 13 points and nine rebounds despite foul trouble, and point guard Kevin Hammack scored 12 points.
But the Bulldogs were without junior guard Dante Terry, who was sick and never left the team hotel, and several other players also were under the weather. The Bulldogs play at Charleston Southern on Thursday, their first trip to CSU since 1998.
"We've got a tough game coming up and not a lot of time to let these guys rest," Dennis said. "We've got to work and get better."
Nesbitt scored 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the game as the Eagles sprinted to a 16-point first-half lead. Hammack scored seven straight points as the Bulldogs closed to within 56-44 at the half.
But Nesbitt sank two more treys to push the lead to 66-49 early in the second half, and the Eagles poured it on down the stretch. Their lead reached 112-72 in the final minutes.