USM finishes regular season perfect at home
Southern Miss defeated FIU Thursday night to finish unbeaten at home with a perfect 14-0 record.
The win marked the second time in the last three years that USM finished with an unblemished record at home. USM also set a school-record, winning 13 straight home conference games.
Freshman Matt Bingaya had another big game as he led all scorers with 20 points, six rebounds and four steals. Daveon Boardingham added 14 points and grabbed eight boards while Jerrold Brooks chipped in 11 points and a career-high seven assists.
Brooks led the way from deep, making three of his six attempts from distance. Jeremiah Eason was also in double figures with ten points off the bench.
The game started in USM’s favor before Tymell Murphy started a 9-2 FIU run with a lay-up, cutting the deficit to 20-19 with 6:33 to play in the first half. Two free throws from Bingaya gave Southern Miss a 35-23 lead going into halftime.
Bingaya began the second half hot converting on an and-one play. After a jumper by Dennis Maven, USM came up with three straight steals that they turned into six points to take a 44-25 lead just two minutes into the half.
It was evident that Southern Miss would come away with a win after Boardingham began to show off his highlight dunking skills. He had a towering alley-oop and muscled his way to another dunk after a feed from Watson.
USM kept the lead in double digits for the remainder of the game to give them their 24th win of the season. USM shot 46 percent (27-of-59) from the floor, but struggled from three, converting just 4-14 shot attempts from deep.
FIU shot 49 percent (24-of-49) from the field, including 65 percent in the second half, but it just was not enough to get past USM. FIU also shot well from three, going 9-22 (41 percent).
The Golden Eagles outrebounded FIU, 36-29 and came away with 14 steals for the game. USM was outstanding from the line, going 20-29 while FIU converted on just nine of their 16 attempts from the charity stripe.
Murphy led the Panthers with a game-high 11 rebounds while adding 13 points. Porcher-Jimenez had a team-high 17 points while Mann chipped in 13.