Golden Eagles fall to South Alabama, 69-58

Southern Miss Cortez Edwards drives the ball against Mississippi College on Nov. 3, 2016 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
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Returning to action for the first time since the Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the Southern Miss Men’s basketball could not capitalize on a late second half rally, losing to the South Alabama Jaguars by a score of 69-58 in Mobile on Wednesday night.

Southern Miss came out of the gate struggling to generate consistency on the offensive side of the ball. In the first half, South Alabama began the game with a 24-4 run and outscored the Golden Eagles 40-19 by halftime, with junior guard Cortez Edwards leading all Southern Miss scorers with just six first half points. Overall, the team converted only 7-of-27 shots from the field in the first half, along with a 15.4 percent conversion rate on three-point attempts.

In the second half, however, the Golden Eagles chipped away at the Jaguars large lead. Led by a 14-point performance by guard Dominic Magee and 10 second half points from Edwards, Southern Miss narrowed the deficit to just eight points when a Magee free throw with 39 seconds left to play to put the score at 66-58 in favor of South Alabama.

Despite the shooting streak and 39 total second half points by the Golden Eagles, South Alabama would hang on for the win after Jaguar guards Jordan Andrews and Herb McGee combined to convert three free throws in the final 35 seconds of the contest.

Overall for the Golden Eagles, Magee finished as the team’s leading scorer with 16 points, followed by Edwards with 14. Magee also contributed to the team’s defensive effort by leading the team in defensive rebounds with eight.

“We just didn’t have anything tonight,” said Head Coach Doc Sadler. “Unfortunately for us, our guard play has to exceed the other team’s and it wasn’t there tonight.”

With the loss, the Golden Eagles now stand at 3-4 on the season. They will look to get back to .500 when they return to Reed Green Coliseum for a non-conference game against Rust on Dec. 3. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.