HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) – Southern Miss jumped out on Loyola (N.O.) early and never let up, as it dominated the Wolfpack, 88-53, in its opening exhibition game Thursday night.
Southern Miss has won 10 straight exhibition games and is 30-3 in exhibition play since 1988.
"I've liked this group since day one," said head coach Larry Eustachy. "It's up to the coaches to get this team to reach its potential, and if we can do that, then I think we'll be a really good team. I'm really enthused by it. We have a good mix of old and new and only time will tell."
Jonathan Mills led all players with a double-double, scoring 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting while pulling down 13 rebounds, including 10 offensive. Maurice Bolden had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Torye Pelham contributed 10 points and nine boards. Neil Watson had 10 points, and Keith DeWitt added nine rebounds.
The Eagles scored the first seven points of the game. Loyola scored nine of the next 15 points to pull to within 13-9 eight minutes into the game. But Southern Miss went on a 13-0 run over the next five minutes to break the game open, on its way to a 47-21 halftime lead.
Loyola score eight of the first nine points of the second half to cut the deficit to 19 points, but Southern Miss went on an 11-0 run to seal the game.
Southern Miss shot 45.6-percent (31-of-68) while holding LUNO to just 24.1-percent (13-of-54). The Golden Eagles held a huge advantage on the glass, outrebounding Loyola, 58-30. The Black and Gold also connected on eight three's while limited Loyola to just one.
Robert Lovaglio led the Wolfpack with 13 points and Corey Gray added 11.
Southern Miss will play its final exhibition game before the regular season when it hosts crosstown rival William Carey on Tuesday, November 8th at 7 p.m.