The Southern Miss Men’s basketball team (7-15, 4-6 C-USA) snapped their three-game losing streak on Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum, defeating the Marshall Thundering Herd (13-10, 6-4 C-USA), by a score of 91-76.
Returning to action after a four-day hiatus, the Golden Eagles hoped that a return home would help them snap their three-game losing streak.
In front of a contingent of vocal fans and the pep band, they got their wish.
“[The crowd] helped us a lot, especially on the defensive end,” said guard D’Angelo Richardson. “Once we see the crowd is into it, we get a little more energized.”
The first half was a back-and-forth chess match for the most part, with each team exchanging leads multiple times during the half. The Golden Eagles kept things interesting by converting five of their nine three-point shots. However, Marshall was able to take a 44-37 halftime lead by converting 51.6 percent of their shots and grabbing 15 defensive rebounds.
Head Coach Doc Sadler was not pleased with the energy or aggressiveness of his team in the first half.
“I challenged our guys at halftime about the energy and getting aggressive,” Sadler said.
Guard Quinton Campbell led Southern Miss with 11 first-half points. He was followed by forward Eddie Davis with eight points.
The start of the second half was much like the first half. Marshall maintained their lead for the first part of the second half, but the Golden Eagles remained within striking distance and slowly chipped away at that lead, overcoming a nine-point deficit to retake the lead for good on a Campbell dunk with 9:03 left in the half. The team never looked back, outscoring the Thundering Herd 26-7 the rest of the way to seal the victory.
“Our offense controlled their offense,” Sadler said. “In the second half, we started attacking the basket a lot better.”
Overall, offensive scoring was the biggest success for the Golden Eagles on the night, with five players scoring in double digits. Campbell led the team with 24 points on the night, followed by Davis with 17, Cortez Edwards with 16, Richardson with 11 and Bilal Abdur-Rahim with 10. In the second half, the team converted an 60.7 percent of their field goals.
Coach Sadler was pleased that this game served as a memorable moment for his seniors.
“I want [the seniors] to enjoy every minute they have left,” Sadler said after the win. “When they do that, the score doesn’t matter to me.”
The Golden Eagles will return to the court in an attempt to win their second straight game on Feb 4. against WKU at Reed Green Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.