Golden Eagles conclude road trip with loss to North Texas

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The Southern Miss men’s basketball team’s (8-7, 0-3 C-USA) losing streak is now at three games following a road loss to conference opponent North Texas (15-1, 3-0 C-USA) on Saturday evening. The Mean Green scored on a layup with 15 seconds remaining to take the lead over Southern Miss and come away with the 65-62 win.

“You’re never happy when you lose, but North Texas is playing as well as anyone in our league, and we had a chance to win it,” Southern Miss Head Coach Doc Sadler said. “We’re struggling at the free-throw line, and can’t give those points up and expect to win a one or two point ballgame.

Southern Miss and North Texas each held leads for big portions of the first half. The Golden Eagles led North Texas for 8:32 in the half, while the Mean Green led for 8:55. However, North Texas went into halftime with a 36-30 lead after retaking the lead from Southern Miss at the 6:55 mark.

Senior guard Cortez Edwards had 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while redshirt senior Tyree Griffin added five total rebounds in the first half for the Golden Eagles.

North Texas quickly jumped out to a 46-35 lead in the second half and continued to add to its lead for most of the half, but Southern Miss kept the score close, eventually retaking the lead on a second-chance jump shot by Edwards with 3:22 remaining in the game. The Southern Miss lead held until the go-ahead North Texas score at the 15-second mark gave the Mean Green a 63-62 lead.

Griffin missed a jump shot with four seconds left and North Texas added two subsequent free throws to add to the final score.

Edwards finished the game with 24 points and seven total rebounds. Sophomore LaDavius Draine scored 16 points off the bench, including four three-pointers. The Golden Eagles were 7-of-15 from the free throw line in the contest.

Defensively, Southern Miss forced 13 turnovers, but North Texas edged out the Golden Eagles in points off turnovers and in total rebounds.

With the loss, Southern Miss concludes its six-game road trip with a 1-5 record. The team’s lone win during that stretch came against South Dakota on Dec. 21, 2018. Three of the six losses were by margins of four points or less.

The Golden Eagles will return to action on Jan. 10 against Middle Tennessee State in Reed Green Coliseum. Southern Miss’ last home contest was an 81-47 win over Millsaps College on Dec. 11, 2018.