Southern Miss won their regular season opener against Tougaloo College in thrilling fashion on Friday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
After defeating Mississippi College in double overtime on November 3, the Southern Miss men’s basketball team found themselves in the same situation against the Tougaloo College Bulldogs.
Both Southern Miss and Tougaloo were unable to maintain leads in the first half. The Golden Eagles watched as their nine- point lead with 3:10 remaining in the first half was cut to four points at halftime after Tougaloo forward Andravious Smith hit a buzzer-beating three point shot just before halftime to make the score 40-36.
Raheem Watts led Southern Miss in the first half with nine points and six rebounds.
After cruising to a 76-66 lead with 5:23 remaining in the second half, the Golden Eagles defense and offense faltered, allowing the Bulldogs to tie the game 79- 79 with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Golden Eagles committed 28 turnovers in the game, and Head Coach Doc Sadler believes that the turnovers are what contributed to the Eagles losing their large lead at the end of the second half.
“When we were up 10, we had three or four opportunities to go put the game away, and we just turned the basketball over,” Sadler said. “You can’t beat good teams and turn the basketball over 28 times.”
The first overtime period was another back and forth period for both teams, with neither team holding more than a four-point lead. Tougaloo was able to pull ahead of the Golden Eagles 88- 86 with 4 seconds remaining, but a subsequent Tougaloo foul allowed Richardson to make two free throws with one seconds remaining on the clock.
With the Golden Eagles down 95-96 in the waning seconds of the second overtime, guard D’Angelo Richardson put the Golden Eagles ahead 98-96 when he made a crucial three point shot with 34 seconds remaining.
“I knew we needed a bucket, and I knew we needed it fast,” Richardson said. “My thought was shoot it and live with the consequences.”
Richardson then sealed the win with for the Golden Eagles with 10 seconds remaining by making two free throws.
Coach Sadler believes that his team’s toughness is what helped them to survive both double overtime games this season.
“My first two teams wouldn’t have found a way to do this,” Sadler said. “And we found a way to win both of them.”
Southern Miss will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for their next game against the LSU Tigers on November 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m