The Southern Miss Golden Eagles (6-13, 1-7 C-USA) fought hard, but fell to Marshall (6-15, 2-6 C-USA) 69-54. With the news coming of Rasham Suarez and Jeremiah Eason’s departure for violating NCAA rules, USM appeared to be mentally and physically spent.
The news of Suarez and Eason’s departure and ineligibility clearly caused team morale to drop. Though the Golden Eagles played hard, they just did not match the firepower of a hot Thundering Herd team.
“I think we really wanted to do it, but we just didn’t have the emotion to do it and that’s on me, “said head coach Doc Sadler.
“We just weren’t the same team emotionally that we had been over our last few games.”
Southern Miss shot terribly from three-point land and also struggled to hit their free throws in a game, going 14-23. Marshall shot over 47 percent from the field. Then, when they got to the free throw line, they nailed those as well.
Marshall lived up to the hype and the statistics as one of the nation’s leaders in three point attempts, putting up 29 three-pointers and hitting 11. The Thundering Herd also carried over their swagger from their last victory over a great UTEP team.
Marshall scored the first seven points in the game and never looked back. Every time the Golden Eagles would go on a run, the Thundering Herd would answer with timely three’s that would instantly kill any momentum USM had built.
Shadell Millinghaus got his first minutes in a long time and provided a much-needed spark on the defensive side of the ball for the Golden Eagles. He had a bucket and three steals in just 10 minutes of game time.
“I had not planned on playing Shadell the rest of the year,” Sadler said. “But the good thing about Shadell is that he is going to give you every ounce of energy he’s got.”
“He’s going to continue to play and continue to play more each night.”
Matt Bingaya, Norville Carey and Chip Armelin all played huge minutes in the contest, all three going over 30 minutes in the game. Bingaya threw down a huge dunk in the first half and ended up with 19 points.
Armelin contributed immensely as well with 16 points and Carey has come into his own the last few games and has back-to-back double doubles. He had 11 points and 10 boards against Marshall.
Southern Miss has to turnaround quick as they have Western Kentucky on Saturday and will have to bring more emotion to the table in order to earn the victory.
However, you can never count out Doc Sadler and is one of the better coaches in Conference USA. Look for the Golden Eagles to bounce back against Western Kentucky.
Tip off is set for 5 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.