STATESBORO, Ga. — The school children in attendance for Kids Field Trip Day witnessed history on Monday at a Georgia Southern women's basketball game.
For the Eagles' opponent, Carver College, it wasn't the kind of history the Cougars would want anyone to see, or remember.
Georgia Southern broke its single-game scoring record for a second consecutive contest as the Eagles defeated Carver College 133-15 at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The 118-point differential was the second-largest margin of victory for a Division I women's team since the NCAA began keeping records in 1981-82. The largest winning margin belongs to a program not far from Statesboro. The Savannah State Tigers routed Wesleyan (Georgia) by 129 points, 155-26, on Nov. 6, 2018.
Carver College is a National Christian College Athletic Association institution from Atlanta.
The record for margin of victory between two DI teams is 108 when Baylor beat Winthrop 140-32 on Dec. 15, 2016.
Because of the disparity between the Eagles (8-2) and the Cougars (0-11) going into the game, Georgia Southern head coach Anita Howard told her squad to work on getting better no matter the score.
"Hats off to Carver, this is one of our non-DI opponents," GS head coach Anita Howard said. "So I talked to our kids about focusing on what we do. When you go to work, you do your job. Our job is to defend, rebound and run. We have to do this kind of defensive effort against a Kennesaw, against a Bethune-Cookman coming up. We challenge them to do every game."
— Georgia Southern Women’s Basketball (@GSAthletics_WBB) December 13, 2021
The Eagles also set several other single-game records in the win over the Cougars (0-11) in the first meeting between the teams. A crowd of 2,568 — mostly grade school and middle school students from Bulloch County and the surrounding area — accounted for the second-largest single-game home attendance to watch Georgia Southern women's basketball behind only the most recent Kids Field Trip Day game from Nov. 20, 2019 against North Dakota (2,912).
"It was a great atmosphere," GS sophomore Lydia Freeman said of playing in her first Kids Day Game as an Eagle. "The kids are so excited to see us play, and we're excited to have them. They brought the energy today even though it was an early game (11 a.m. start), and we felt all the love."
Howard added: "It was great. It was an early game, so in the locker room, I could tell our energy was down. But hearing the kids yell and scream for every little thing helped us wake up. They make them feel like local celebrities. This is what we would love for Hanner to look like on a consistent basis."
Georgia Southern scored the first 19 points of Monday's contest en route to a 27-5 lead after the first quarter. The Eagles then held Carver off the scoreboard in the second quarter — the first time since the NCAA went to the quarter system that Georgia Southern has held an opponent scoreless for a quarter — in taking a 60-5 lead at halftime.
The Eagles broke the single-game scoring record on Daeja Holmes' layup in the fourth quarter that made the score 123-12. The old record of 121 points was set last Saturday in a 121-105 win over Gardner-Webb at Hanner Fieldhouse.
In addition to the single-game scoring record, the Eagles also set a team record for margin of victory with 118 points (old record: 72, set in a 111-39 win over Tift College on Jan. 22, 1975) and also set a record for fewest points allowed in a game (old record: 29, set vs. Elon on Jan. 26, 2009).
Georgia Southern registered 28 steals in the contest, which ties the school record set vs. Georgia Tech on Feb. 21, 1980.
Eight players reached double figures in the contest for the Eagles, led by Rachel Johnson's 18 points. Constance Thomas notched 17 points, while Taya Gibson finished with 15 points. Daeja Holmes had 12 points, Ja'nya Love-Hill, Simone James and Thaniya Marks had 11 points apiece and Lydia Freeman chipped in 10 points. Carver was led by Taiyee Treasure's nine points.
Johnson hit 9-of-17 shots from the floor and added five rebounds and a pair of steals for her season-high 18 points. She also reached the 1,000 career-point mark, including her seasons at Southern State CC, Chipola JC, Wichita State and Georgia Southern.
Georgia Southern had a 78-0 edge in points off of turnovers against the Cougars, buoyed by the school record-tying 28 steals. The Eagles also had a 49-0 edge in fastbreak points and 88-11 advantage in bench points.
The Eagles play their final non-conference road game of the year on Friday, visiting Kennesaw State for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Follow Nathan Dominitz on Twitter: @NathanDominitz
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Georgia Southern women's basketball routs Carver College by 118 points