ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Jelani Hewitt scored 20 points and Tre Bussey 14 as seventh-seeded Georgia Southern shot out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back, defeating No. 10 seed Furman 65-50 in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament on Friday
The Eagles (14-18), in their first SoCon tourney since 2002, face second-seeded Chattanooga (18-13) in a quarterfinal Saturday. Georgia Southern defeated Chattanooga Feb. 20.
Georgia Southern, which is moving to the Sun Belt next season, opened the second half on a 14-2 run, capped by a Hewitt dunk that built the lead to 49-29 with 13:35 remaining. The Eagles shot 57.1 percent in the half. Angel Matias added 10 points.
Georgia Southern stole the ball 13 times (Hewitt with three), scoring 16 points off turnovers and 38 in the paint.