Southern Miss’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday, as the Golden Eagles dropped a late-afternoon road contest to the Wichita State Shockers.
The Golden Eagles entered halftime down 33-25 to the Shockers. Senior guard Cortez Edwards opened up the contest with a pull-up jump shot to give the team the first two points of the contest. However, the game was tied six times in the first half and the teams played through five lead changes. Southern Miss held the lead for 3:17 out of 20 minutes in the half.
Sophomore LaDavius Draine converted two three-point shots to emerge as the leading scorer for the Golden Eagles in the first half with six points. Edwards and redshirt junior forward Leonard Harper-Baker were behind Draine with five points apiece.
In the second half, Southern Miss cut the Wichita State lead. Down 52-36 with 10:46 left to play, the Golden Eagles subsequently went on a 17-3 run to cut the Wichita State lead to 55-53 with 4:26 remaining.
Redshirt senior Dominic Magee’s layup with 53 seconds left to play gave the Golden Eagles a 60-59 lead in the final minute, but Wichita State regained the lead on a dunk with 36 seconds remaining and two subsequent free throws. Harper-Baker also missed three free-throw attempts with two seconds remaining, allowing the Shockers to come away with the 63-60 win.
Overall, Southern Miss converted 36.5 percent of its shots in the contest, compared to a 38.3 mark for Wichita State. The team also scored 18 points off of turnovers and outscored Wichita State 35-30 in the second half.
“I’ve got to give my guys credit,” Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler said. “We were down 17 and kept coming back to take the lead. Overall, these guys on my team have been through a lot, and to play a program that has had such a successful run the last 10 years and playing them competitively was a good feeling. I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but I told the team that this year, we won’t go into any game not expecting an opportunity to win.”
Edwards finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, both team-highs for Southern Miss. Redshirt senior guard Tyree Griffin finished with 12 points and Magee scored 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Southern Miss now has a 7-3 record on the season following the loss. The Golden Eagles will return to action on Dec. 19 when they travel to Manhattan, Kansas to play No. 25 Kansas State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.