Junior Norville Carey makes a shot for his team during the game against UTSA on Thursday night. The Eagles won 70-66.-Abby Smith
Southern Miss (9-19, 4-13) defeated the UTEP Miners (19-9, 11-5) at home Saturday, 63-60, completing the largest comeback in school history. The Southern Miss team held a ceremony for leading scorer Chip Armelin for the last home game of his collegiate career.
Southern Miss won back-to-back games for only the second time this season. The last time they had back-to-back wins was Nov. 14 and 17.
Southern Miss used a 30-8 run to come back in the game, overcoming a 24-point deficit in the final 11 minutes. Southern Miss overcame the biggest deficit in school history, tying the game at 58 on an Armelin three-pointer.
“Pretty much after (Shadell) made his three, I already knew we were going to win,” Armelin said. “Just kept digging in, trying to find a way to win.”
Southern Miss finished the game making all seven of their last shots and holding UTEP to miss their last four field goals.
Millinghaus finished leading the team in both points and rebounds for the game with 17 and six, respectively.
The Golden Eagles as a team shot 27 percent from the field in the first half, en route to only having 20 points. The team shot 1-of-11 from beyond the arc as well. In the second half, the Golden Eagles came to life, scoring 43 points in the half on 53 percent shooting from the field.
Norville Carey shot 58 percent from the field on 7-of-12 shooting for the game. He also added five rebounds and made three free throws. Carey helped put the game away with a late jumper with just under 30 seconds left to put the Golden Eagles up two.
“We stuck together and played as a team and everybody contributed,” Carey said. “We came out victorious.”
The Golden Eagle defense provided the offense, forcing 11 steals and swatting four shots away. UTEP finished shooting 42 percent from the field and 32 percent from three for the game.
USM only committed five turnovers during the whole game. The team forced 17 UTEP turnovers, leading to 22 points for the Golden Eagles.
Armelin scored only four points in the first half, shooting 1-of-5 from the field and going 0-of-2 from deep. But he came alive to hit 5-of-7 shots from the field in the second half. His only three-pointer, was the dagger to tie the game up in the second half.
Armelin is the only senior on the team and leaves Hattiesburg with a win for the fans.
“We hate to see Chip leave,” said head coach Doc Sadler. “(I’m) very happy for him, very happy for all the guys.”
Starting two players at 6-feet, 8-inches, the Miners had a size advantage on the Golden Eagles squad. The Golden Eagles were outrebounded 40-29, allowing every player that played for UTEP grab at least two rebounds.
“This is a good comeback,” Carey said. “Somehow, we did not feel like down about it because when were losing by that much. We normally put our head and say we don’t have a chance. We just kept on fighting.”
The Golden Eagles gave up 26 points to Earvin Morris, who 8-of-17 shots and 5-of-11 from deep. Morris had 16 points in the first half and 10 points in the second half. No other player scored more than 10 points in the game for the Miners.
Southern Miss will play its last game of the season on March 5 against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana.