The Southern Miss men’s basketball team earned a big win over the Southern Methodist University Mustangs with a final score of 74-64 on Sunday. Southern Miss carried the momentum from its 111-66 season-opening win over Southeastern Baptist in the win over SMU.
SMU did get ahead of the Golden Eagles 10-2 early on, but Southern Miss managed to make the game close in the first half, going on a 13-6 run to keep the score from getting out of hand. The Golden Eagles shot 56.52 percent from the field and 57.14 percent from the three-point line, but only managed to be down 36-35 at the half.
Southern Miss broke away in the second half, taking a 49-42 lead at one point. SMU scored the next nine points in the contest to take another lead, but Southern Miss eventually regained the lead again and came away with the 74-64 win.
In the contest, the Golden Eagles converted 13-of-24 three-point shots and held SMU to 39.7 percent shooting on field goals. Southern Miss also outrebounded SMU 36-31.
Redshirt senior guard Tyree Griffin was a key contributor in the win. The guard finished the game with 21 points and 7 assists. Senior Cortez Edwards hauled in nine rebounds, which was a game-high for both teams.
As a whole, guard play was a key factor in the win. Freshman Gabe Watson, sophomore LaDavius Draine, Edwards and Griffin all finished with double figures in points.
The road win over the Mustangs means that Southern Miss is the first non-conference opponent to defeat SMU at home in 33 games. The win is also important in creating momentum in non-conference play and puts Southern Miss in a good position moving forward.
The team has the guard play and big men to grab rebounds, but consistency has to be its most important aspect through the season. The seniors are improved and the offseason helped all returning players grow and develop, so looking ahead at the schedule, this team has a chance to compete with every team, even in tough back-to-back contests against Wichita State and Kansas State in December.
“Overall, you couldn’t be more pleased with this group of guys,” Southern Miss Head Coach Doc Sadler said. “We went on the road early in the season, shot 49 percent and only turned it over 12 times.”
Southern Miss will go on the road to face Troy on Thursday, Nov. 15. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.