Georgia Southern beats La.-Monroe 57-53, for 1st in Sun Belt

MONROE, La. (AP) Jelani Hewitt drained back-to-back 3-pointers late in the game as Georgia Southern defeated Louisiana-Monroe 57-53, claiming first place in the Sun Belt Conference and knocking the Warhawks a half-game back on Saturday night.

Eric Ferguson came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points before fouling out, Hewitt added 15 for Georgia Southern (13-4, 6-2 Sun Belt).

Neither team shot well in the tightly contested battle – Georgia Southern sinking 21 of 50 and Louisiana-Monroe 19 of 52. Each had 10 turnovers. The Eagles drained 9 of 23 3-pointers with Hewitt and Jake Allsmiller sinking three each.

Ferguson a drained a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, lifting Georgia Southern into a 29-27 lead the Eagles would hold the rest of the way.

Tylor Ongwae scored 17 for Louisiana-Monroe (12-8, 6-3), with 10 rebounds.

Hewitt, with two steals, is now the record holder for Georgia Southern with 223 career.