Southern Miss stays perfect at home after defeating North Texas 85-78. The Golden Eagles held off a 50-point second half from the Mean Green and improved the home record to 9-0. The win also puts the team back over .500 at 11- 10 overall and puts the team at .500 in conference.
“You have to give [North Texas] credit for attacking, they never let up,” Head Coach Doc Sadler said. “Overall, I’m just very happy. That’s a good basketball team, especially on the road. They have been hard to beat on the road. I knew it wasn’t even close to being over when we got up by eighteen.”
In the first half, the Golden Eagles held a 12-9 lead with junior Eddie Davis putting up eight of those early points.
From there Southern Miss went on a 14-0 run with juniors Tyree Griffin and Cortez Edwards hitting back-to-back three pointers in the run to give the Golden Eagles a 24-9 lead.
In the final minutes of the half, the Mean Green closed the lead but another three-pointer from Griffin gave the Golden Eagles more cushion as the team closed the half with a 42-28 lead.
At the start of the second half Southern Miss extended its lead to as much as 18 points at 56-38. However, North Texas chipped away at the deficit after switching into a full court press that forced the Golden Eagles into making several mistakes. North Texas put together a 12-5 run and crept within five at 70-65 with 2:12 left to play.
Within the final minute free throws from Griffin and Edwards helped clinch the win for the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss as a team was 26-for-31 from the free throw line which proved to be the difference.
Four Golden Eagles posted double-digits with Griffin leading them with 27 points and Edwards posting a double-double scoring 19 points and bringing in ten rebounds.
“I feel that we are starting to figure things out,” Griffin said. “We’re moving the ball pretty well and people are making shots at home but we just have to find ourselves on the road now.”
Southern Miss hits the road to play Louisiana Tech on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.