Southern Miss dropped its sixth consecutive game to the UTEP Miners Saturday night, losing by an embarrassing 34-point margin. The loss dropped the Golden Eagles (5-9, 0-3) to 13th in the Conference USA standings. Head coach Doc Sadler’s return to El Paso did not go as planned.
After Southern captured a two-point, 5-3, lead the Golden Eagles went cold and the Miners took advantage. Norville Carey made his second three-pointer of his career to give Southern
Miss the lead.
Miners point guard Omega Harris then turned the ball over and Southern Miss had an opportunity to increase the lead to four, but Carey missed a layup. Carey’s missed layup was the start of a 7:24 stretch where the Golden Eagles missed all 12 of their shot attempts. UTEP jumped to a comfortable 20-5 lead during the eight minute stretch
with a 17-0 run.
Following a timeout, Carey entered the game and gave Southern Miss its first points in the first half since the 16:20 mark in the game. Davon Hayes hit Carey in the post and Carey made a layup while getting fouled. Carey made the free throw for the three-point play.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs guard Alex Hamilton (0), right, tries to steal the ball from Southern Miss Golden Eagles guard/forward Davon Hayes (3) in the second half at Reed Green Coliseum Jan. 3. La. Tech won, 85-68. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The next three possessions for Southern Miss ended with a familiar result — missed shots. Finding himself wide open behind the three-point line, Rasham Suarez failed to convert the opportunity.
On their second offensive possession Hayes’ shot was blocked and rebounded by Matt Willms, which UTEP converted into a C.J. Cooper three-point basket.
The Miners remained hot in the first half and they went into halftime with a 40-15 lead. USM went 5-20 from the floor, shooting 20 percent in the first half. From behind the arch, the Golden Eagles went just 1-11, shooting an embarrassing 9.1 percent.
The rout continued in the second half. UTEP increased their lead to 33 when they started the second period with a 10-2 run. Vince Hunter used a screen to get open and knocked down a two point jumper to start the run.
Southern Miss never looked comfortable on the court as UTEP was able to increase their lead to 35 with 6:36 left in the game on a basket by Cedrick Lang. UTEP was able to coast to
a 74-40 victory.
“I know Southern Miss is not the Southern Miss of a year ago because of departures, but (Matt) Bingaya and (Chip) Armelin can play and I thought Julian (Washburn) and Earvin (Morris) did a very nice job on those guys,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said.
The 34-point victory was the second largest victory in UTEP’s school history and the 40 points were the second fewest allowed by the Miners to a C-USA team.
Coming off of a week where he was voted C-USA Player of the Week, Chip Armelin was held to six points going 2-9 from the floor. Carey led all Golden Eagles in scoring with 10 points. Michael O’Donnell finished second with nine points. Stand out Matt Bingaya was held to just seven points.
The Golden Eagles’ next chance to get off the snide will be Jan. 15 when they play the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6-6) at home. The game is schedule to
tipoff at 7 p.m.