USM rallies down stretch for 59-52 win at ODU

Edwards becomes program’s all-time leader in steals

USM rallies down stretch for 59-52 win at ODU

NORFOLK, VA (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi outscored Old Dominion University 16-7 over the game’s final 5 ½ minutes Wednesday night as the Golden Eagles topped the Monarchs 59-52 at Ted Constant Convention Center.

ODU, which had clinched Conference USA’s regular-season championship, saw a seven-game winning streak snapped as the Golden Eagles’ avenged a 74-62 loss to the Monarchs on Jan. 19.

USM (18-11, 10-7 C-USA) snapped a two-game losing streak and picked up its first win in the league’s late-season “bonus play.”

By beating the Monarchs Wednesday, if the Golden Eagles can top visiting University of Texas-San Antonio Saturday at Reed Green Coliseum, USM would be seeded third at next week’s 2019 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Championship in Frisco, Texas.

Wednesday, guard Cortez Edwards scored the first three points in a 12-2 USM run that brought the Golden Eagles from a 45-43 deficit with 6 minutes, 29 seconds, to play to a 55-47 lead with 2:41 to go.

LaDavius Draine scored five points in the decisive burst, including one of his four 3-point baskets.

ODU (23-7, 13-4) pulled within 55-52 on a 3-pointer by B.J. Stith with 1:09 to play, but Edwards answered with a slam dunk and Leonard Harper-Baker’s two free throws in the final seconds.

Draine, who made 7-of-14 shots from the field, led USM with 18 points. Point guard Tyree Griffin added 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Edwards, who became USM’s all-time steals leader, finished with 11 points, four rebounds and four steals. Harper-Baker scored six points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.

ODU, which shot just 34 percent from the floor, got 11 points each from Justice Kithcart and Xavier Green and 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Ahmad Caver.

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