– For the second straight game, Southern Miss had to withstand a comeback attempt. However, in the end, they came out on top, defeating Loyola (N.O.), 73-62, Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
This was a tough game against a tough team,” said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. “There is tremendous, tremendous upside to this team. We got caught up in the game. I thought we took a step back from the (Louisiana-Lafayette) game. But the bottom line is we made plays to win.”
Sophomore Maurice Bolden earned his second straight double-double, scoring 29 points, including 23 in the first half, while grabbing 11 rebounds. He also had five blocked shots. Junior Josimar Ayarza also pulled in a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 boards.
Southern Miss (2-0) went down early, connecting on just two of their first seven shots while the Wolfpack scored on four of their first five possessions. But, junior Josimar Ayarza kept the Golden Eagles in the game, scoring their first six points. Junior R.L. Horton gave Southern Miss its first lead, 9-8, connecting on a three-pointer at 15:41 of the first half.
Loyola (N.O.) tied the game up at 11, but the Golden Eagles then went on a 14-5 run over the next 4:28 to take a 25-16 lead. The Wolfpack pulled to within five points seven times, but Southern Miss held a 42-35 lead at the half.
Southern Miss came out in the second half and shot poorly, scoring just 12 points in the first 10 minutes. The Golden Eagles pushed the lead out to 10, its biggest lead of the game. But the Wolfpack went on a 10-3 run over the next 3:58 to cut the deficit to 61-58.
However, Southern Miss closed the game outscoring 12-4 for the final margin.
Junior Gary Flowers added 10 points, while junior Torye Pelham grabbed seven rebounds.
Ryan Brock led Loyola with 24 points.
Southern Miss goes back on the road next Saturday, Nov. 21, when they face Montana State. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT.