Golden Eagles win on Griffin’s last-second shot

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Southern Miss (11-7, 3-3 C-USA) evened its conference record with a last-second road win against the Charlotte 49ers (4-12, 1-4 C-USA) on Thursday. Redshirt senior guard Tyree Griffin hit a three-point shot with one second remaining to seal the 63-60 win.

The Golden Eagles entered the game against the 49ers with a 2-3 record in conference play following back-to-back wins against C-USA opponents Middle Tennessee State and UAB.

As the first half began, both teams opened up with quick points and played through lead changes. Forwards Leonard Harper-Baker and Tim Rowe gave Southern Miss an early 4-3 lead on two layups.

The Southern Miss defense also got off to a fast start, holding Charlotte to 11-of-26 from the field and 3-of-9 on three-point attempts in the first half. The defensive effort helped Southern Miss take a 27-22 lead at halftime.

Griffin and senior guard Cortez Edwards contributed solid defensive play during the game with a combined 10 defensive rebounds and three steals.

At the beginning of the second half, Charlotte went on a 19-5 run and led 41-32 with 13:24 in the second half. It took a team effort from Southern Miss to go on a run to regain the lead at the 8:48 mark in the half.

Towards the end of the game, Southern Miss led 60-54, but the 49ers climbed back to tie the game at 60-60 with 1:15 remaining. That score held in the final minute of the contest and Southern Miss called a timeout with 17.5 seconds left in the game.

With one second remaining, Griffin crossed his defender for the game-winning three-pointer, giving Southern Miss the 63-60 win.

“I saw that they overplayed Cortez [Edwards], so I took the shot,” Griffin said. “A win is great, but on the road is even better.”

Griffin finished with 10 points and six assists offensively. Kevin Holland was Southern Miss’ leading scorer with 14 points, a season-high for the redshirt senior.

Overall, Southern Miss had four players in double-figures. Along with Holland and Griffin, junior forward Leonard Harper-Baker finished with 12 points and sophomore LaDavius Draine had 10 points.

Southern Miss will continue its C-USA schedule at Old Dominion on Jan. 19. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.