After a loss that went down to the wire against Kansas State on Wednesday, the Southern Miss men’s basketball team continued its road trip against South Dakota in another close game, but the Golden Eagles managed to come out on top by a score of 66-60 on Friday.
“It’s been a long week, but I could not be more proud of our basketball team the last 7-8 minutes tonight,” Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler said. “We showed some toughness and had some guys step up for big shots. Overall, it was a great team win for us.”
At the beginning of the first half, Southern Miss jumped out to a slim 10-8 lead in the first six minutes of play. The two teams played a back and forth game in the first half, with five total lead changes. However, South Dakota managed to end the half with a lead of 34-29 over the Golden Eagles
Senior Cortez Edwards was Southern Miss’ leading scorer in the first half with eight points. Edwards managed to come up with key rebounds for the Golden Eagles as well
It was not until the midpoint of the second half that Southern Miss surged ahead for good. Led by Edwards, Southern Miss played team ball the entire second half as they did in the first and took a 49-48 lead with 9:23 left to play.
South Dakota made two late three-point shots within the final 30 seconds of play to inch closer, but it was not enough to overcome the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss made three free throw attempts in that span to clinch the win.
Griffin was a key player in Friday’s win, coming out of the contest with 12 points and four assists.
Edwards also reached a milestone in the contest, becoming the fourth Southern Miss player to have over 1,000 career points along with over 500 career rebounds and 200 assists. He was the team’s leading scorer in Fridays win finishing with 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Southern Miss will return to action for its first conference game of the season against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 29. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.