The Golden Eagles fell to 5-12 after a 70-59 loss to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Khari Price was a bright spot for the Golden Eagles as he scored 17 points in the loss. Price scored the most points, shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from the three-point line.
“I missed open shots that I think could have definitely helped us,” Price said. “All my success is predicated by the guys on the court.”
Louisiana Tech got off to a good start as they were able to capitalize on Southern Miss’ mistakes to take an early 6-0 lead. USM recorded four turnovers in just the first four minutes and fell down 10-7 in that span. Shortly after that deficit, the Bulldogs went on another run taking a 19-9 lead with 13:27 left in the first quarter.
Southern Miss ran into a scoring drought midway through the first half, missing seven consecutive shots. This drought allowed the Bulldogs to take a 31-16 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.
Shortly before halftime, the Gold- en Eagles made a run of their own, cutting into the lead making it 31- 20. Unfortunately, a buzzer-beating floater scored from Louisiana Tech’s Dayon Griffin pushed the deficit to 13 points at the half making it a 38-25 Bulldog lead.
Southern Miss opened the second period on a 6-0 run, capped off by a Jackson three-pointer to cut the margin to seven at 38-31.
As the Golden Eagles grew closer to getting back in the game, they were trailing by seven at the 12 minute mark and narrowing the margin to three at the 10 minute mark, 50-47.
The Golden Eagles were hindered by poor officiating at a crucial turning point in the game.
“The big play was the shot- clock violation,” head coach Doc Sadler said. “They knocked it out of bounds and they got possession.”
Following that call, the Golden Eagles were able to hang around until missed trips to the free throw line took them out of the game.
“Free throws are easy points,” Price said. “You gotta get as many of those as you can get.”
Jackson finished the game with 12 points while Keljin Blevins finished with 12. True freshman Tim Rowe finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Sadler has taken notice of Rowe’s growth on the floor.
“I thought the last three games, he’s been as aggressive as you can ask,” Sadler said. “He’s just getting better guys [and] on the offensive end, he’s really helping us.”
Sadler reminded people that this is a young team that has not learned to talk yet.
“We’ve got some young dudes out there,” Sadler said. “We had three freshmen against guys who have won close to 90 games in the last three seasons.”
The Bulldogs swept the season series with the Golden Eagles and are on a five game-winning streak over Southern Miss over the past three years.
The Golden Eagles continue their home stand on Jan. 28 when they host UTEP. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.