Golden Eagles outlast Mustangs in comback victory
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:01
The Golden Eagles (14-4) narrowly escaped Dallas with a hard-fought road win over the SMU Mustangs (11-8, 1-3 C-USA) on Wednesday, and are now 3-0 in conference play for the first time in school history. Southern Miss currently sits in a two-way tie atop Conference USA, as Memphis also flaunts a 3-0 conference record.
The contest appeared to be out of reach early for the Golden Eagles, as the Mustangs jumped out to a 26-7 lead midway through the first half. A barrage of three-pointers helped Southern Miss claw its way back into the game, and SMU only held a 32-26 advantage at halftime.
The Golden Eagles picked up where they left off in the second half, opening up an eight point lead on the strength of a 24-10 run to start the frame. SMU cut the deficit to as little as one point, but USM ultimately prevailed 74-70.
Both squads had four players in double figures, but USM held a 27-6 advantage in bench scoring.
Dwayne Davis led the way for the Golden Eagles with a team-high 17 points on the strength of four three-point baskets. Rashard McGill chipped in with 14 points off the bench.
Although Neil Watson and Jonathan Mills failed to crack double figures, Watson distributed five assists and Mills grabbed eight boards to contribute to the winning cause.
Jalen Jones notched a double-double for the Mustangs, recording game highs in both points (20) and rebounds (12). Shawn Williams added 17 points and made five of his team’s seven three-pointers.
After going 4-4 in December, the Golden Eagles remain a perfect 4-0 in the month of January. They are currently riding a modest six game winning streak, and have won eight of their last nine games.
The Golden Eagles return to Reed Green Coliseum on Saturday when they host the UAB Blazers at 5:00 p.m. When Southern Miss hosted the Blazers in 2011, UAB defeated the Golden Eagles in dramatic fashion 67-66. Southern Miss has since won 22 straight games on its home floor, the fifth best streak of its kind in Division I basketball.