Southern Miss traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sunday evening where they were defeated by the Drexel Dragons 59-36.
USM was confident coming off a huge home victory before Thanksgiving break, but were dull the entire game against the Dragons. Their 36 points were the fewest they have scored since 2005.
“We’ve got to understand that once you go on the road, it’s a totally different basketball game (than) it is when you’re at home,” said Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler. “There’s not a team that could’ve given us a better lesson today than Drexel. They gave us a lesson how to control the basketball, control the game, defense, everything about it. They were in total control from start to finish.”
In the first half, Drexel went on an 8-0 run, forcing USM to call a timeout. Norville Carey was granted his first start with the Golden Eagles, and he made a statement. Carey scored the first 12 points for USM cutting Drexel’s lead to seven, 19-12 with 11:12 on the clock.
Drexel pushed its lead to 15 with five minutes remaining when Dallas Anglin sunk a three-pointer, the first points for Southern Miss by someone other than Carey. USM’s first half woes continued as they ended the first half down 14 points, 35-21.
Drexel’s Damion Lee produced 19 points in just the first half. USM only shot 32 percent from the field in the first half compared to Drexel’s 46.4 percent. The Golden Eagle offense was in desperate need of a spark, but never got it.
Matt Bingaya’s layup in the paint cut Drexel’s lead to 12, 37-25, with 17 minutes remaining. Offensively, the Golden Eagles were unable to score and had no answer on defense, trading baskets with the Dragons. Drexel was ahead by as much as 25 points over the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles only scored 15 points the second half with two steals, resulting in a 59-36 loss.
Overall, Carey led all scoring with 16 points. The next closest was Matt Bingaya with seven. The Golden Eagles were outrebounded defensively and offensively.
Drexel had eleven offensive rebounds to USM’s eight and 27 defensive rebounds to USM’s 16.
USM’s field goal percentage stayed the same in the second half while Drexel’s improved to 50 percent. The Golden Eagles were woeful from behind the arc, making just 2-13, just 15.4 percent while the Dragons shot 43 percent from deep.
In recent games, the Golden Eagles were able to keep their turnovers to eight or under, but were guilty of 11 against Drexel, resulting in 20 points for the Dragons.
Southern Miss fell to 3-2 overall and will return home Dec. 3 taking on North Dakota State at 7:30 p.m.