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BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Lead by Ryan Atkins’ double-double, six Southeastern players collected double-digit points in Thursday’s Sun Conference win over Coastal Georgia. The Fire downed the Mariners 87-81 to improve to 17-7 on the season.
During the first meeting between these two conference opponents, Coastal Georgia solidified a seven point victory over the Fire in double overtime. However, tonight only 40 minutes was necessary to crown a victor.
The Mariners opened the contest with a 10-4 run that warranted a Fire comeback. Southeastern’s offense came alive with the help of Grant Bryant and Ismael Celestin. Off of the bench, Bryant made his presence felt inside the paint collecting 10 of the Fire’s 15 bench points in the first half.
At the end of the initial 20 minutes of play, not much separated both teams statistically except for the 50-47 score in favor of Southeastern.
The Mariners shot 40.6% from the floor while the Fire shot an even 40%. Three point shooting was identical as well at 50% a piece. However, rebounding proved to be the deciding factor in the first half and throughout the rest of the game. The Fire dominated the offensive glass with 11 rebounds, leading to timely second chance points.
Scoring, coupled with defensive stops, shifted the momentum in the direction of the Fire. Atkins, who only had five points in the opening half, completed his double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Fire established their largest lead of the game of 10 points with 7:47 remaining. Coastal Georgia was unable to combat the very dangerous perimeter shooting by Jeremy Oppenheimer and Josiah Barsh. The two players combined shot an astonishing 56% from beyond the arc.
With Bryant in foul trouble in the second half, Isaac Barsh was an asset the Fire were able to depend on. I. Barsh tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.
Halyen Washington of Coastal Georgia was trying to do everything he could to will the Mariners to victory. Washington finished the game with 24 points but it was not enough to defeat the well-oiled machine that is the Fire.
Southeastern extends their win streak back to three heading into the weekend. The Fire will battle Thomas University on Saturday at 4 p.m.