On Nov. 24 the Golden Eagles opened the Sanford Pentagon Showcase with a loss 84-71 to host team South Dakota.
Rebounds proved to be the difference for Southern Miss as South Dakota out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 39-23.
After being down 14-7 early in the first half, Southern Miss went on a 7-1 run to put the Golden Eagles ahead. However South Dakota surged just before halftime to have a 32-31 lead
South Dakota maintained the momentum in the second half as they shot 69.6 percent from the field. The Coyotes opened with a 13-2 run which was the push they needed to secure the win.
Junior Cortez Edwards led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 16 points and junior Tyree Griffin was second with 14 points.
The Golden Eagles bounced back with a 71-64 win against Youngstown State which was led by senior Kevin Holland’s 17-point career-high.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said Head Coach Doc Sadler. “They fought through a lot tonight. We just fought. We had a nine-point lead, and they came back. In years past we might have dropped our head and not found a way to win the game.”
A 13-4 run put the Golden Eagles ahead at 32-29 at halftime but the Penguins battled back to tie the game 34-34 and 45-45.
Southern Miss surged ahead with three consecutive three pointers but Youngstown St. went on a 9-0 run to tie the game again.
In the final minutes, Southern Miss closed the game out with a key layup by Edwards and four free throws from Griffin to secure the win.
Including Holland’s career- high, he finished with five rebounds and five assists, Edwards led the team with 18 points and Griffin finished with 17 points.
The Golden Eagles were just as strong defensively as they held Youngstown St. to shooting 37.7 percent from the field as a team and Southern Miss out rebounded the Penguins 40-29.
However, Southern Miss lost the final game of the tournament to Northern Colorado, 77-63.
Southern Miss started the game with an 8-0 run but the Bears took the lead at 18-16 with 9:31 left in the first half. The Golden Eagles responded with another 8-0 run to retake the lead, 24-18.
At halftime Edwards led the team with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Golden Eagles held a halftime lead 32-28 but a 49 point second half from the Bears was the difference.
Northern Colorado put together a 7-0 run that put them ahead at 35- 32 at the start of the half. The Bears extended their lead with a 15-0 run but Southern Miss put together a 9-0 run to close the deficit, 67-56.
“In the three games we’ve lost this season, we’ve really played well and controlled the tempo,” Sadler said. “In the second half we just didn’t come out with the same energy and effort, and they had a 15-point run. We made mistakes on the defensive end that we didn’t make in the first half.”
Edwards led the team with 20 points and six rebounds and Griffin finished with 15 points, six assists and six rebounds.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Mobile, Ala. to play South Alabama on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.