Southern Miss continued its winless campaign on Saturday when it traveled to Morehead State, losing 61-46.
The Golden Eagles had their second lowest scoring output of the season, trailing only their 18-point season-opening loss to Memphis.
Head coach Doc Sadler employed Raheem Watts, Kourtlin Jackson, Khari Price, Kelvin Blevins and Michael O’Donnell in his starting lineup, but they only scored a combined 20 points on 3-of-17 shooting from the field.
This lineup got behind early to the Eagles 8-0 in the first three minutes, and 10-3 just four minutes into the first half. The Golden Eagles did not have 10 points in the contest until seven minutes left in the half.
At halftime, the Golden Eagles were limited to 27 percent shooting from the field, and 38 percent shooting from three- point range. No player attempted more than four shots, and no Golden Eagle had more than six points in the half as USM trailed 30-16 at halfrime.
“Defensively, I knew going into the game they were going to be very aggressive, and they were,” Sadler said. “We weren’t quite ready for what they gave us.”
Early in the second half, USM fell behind by 20 points, 44-24. Even though there were over 11 minutes left to make some sort of comeback, the final outcome was never in question. Despite scoring 30 points in the second half, the Golden Eagles were no match for Morehead State.
“They got after us and it would have been easy to take a step back, but we didn’t,” Sadler said. “Even though we didn’t get the win, there were some positive things I saw that we can build on.”
Freshman guard Robert Thomas III led the Golden Ea- gles in scoring with 13 points off the bench, and right behind him in scoring was sharp-shooting transfer guard Michael Ramey with 11 points.
The 15-point loss on the scoreboard did not justify the discrepancy on the floor. Across the board, Southern Miss wwas dominated.
“Once we settled down a little bit and went with a much smaller lineup, we handled the pres- sure a little bit better,” Sadler said. “I was pleased that our guys continued to compete.”
The Golden Eagles were outrebounded by Morehead State, and had a lesser shoot- ing percentage. USM also had more turnovers and more personal fouls.
The Golden Eagles will return to action on Dec. 1 against Troy in Troy, Alabama. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.