Brooks leads Eagles past UTEP
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 00:02
Jerrold Brooks scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, eight of which came during a 13-1 run late in the second half, as Southern Miss outlasted UTEP Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The game got off to a slow start, with the score only 10-9 after 10 minutes of play in the first half.
UTEP (14-11, 7-5 C-USA) continued to pound the ball inside throughout the rest of the half, scoring 14 of their 22 first half points in the paint. Southern Miss scored half of their 16 first half points in the paint but was only 7-23 from the field and 2-11 from three in the opening half.
The second half started with UTEP jumping out to a 27-18 lead off of baskets from Konner Tucker and McKenzie Moore. The team’s traded baskets until the 11:36 mark, when Southern Miss went on a 13-1 run to jump out to a 41-33 lead.
The lead proved too much for UTEP to overcome, as Southern Miss held off to win 45-39.
Head basketball coach Donnie Tyndall said he knew the game was going to be a struggle, as UTEP is a very good defensive team.
“We knew we were going to play a team that was good defensively,” Tyndall said. “We beat a very good basketball team. They make the game ugly, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. They make you earn every basket and don’t give up points in the open court, which is where we thrive.”
Brooks, who went 3-10 from three, never doubted his shot.
“Coach told me to keep shooting,” Brooks said. “I kept finding ways to get open, and I knew in my mind some would go in. The three that fell - we needed them.”
Tyndall credited his team with winning in a different way than they are comfortable with.
“We’ve won a lot of different ways,” Tyndall said. “Our team just finds a way. We like to play up tempo, we like to run, but tonight was like an NCAA tourney game: a half court dominated, very physical game.
Brooks led Southern Miss with 13 points on 5-14 shooting. Neil Watson was the only other Golden Eagle in double figures, as he scored 11 on the night. Daveon Boardingham added eight points and eight rebounds on the night.
The Eagles help UTEP to just 21.4% shooting from the field in the second half, and held them to just 15.4% from three the entire game.
Moore led UTEP with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Southern Miss (21-6, 10-2 C-USA) heads to Memphis for a rematch on Saturday at noon. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on FSN.