USM, William Carey survive wild finishes

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Ironic enough, the team with the largest lead is the one that walked off the court with a loss. The University of Southern Mississippi men's basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit for a 69-67 road win at Georgia State, while the William Carey University men's basketball team miraculously climbed out of a four-point hole in 12 seconds to beat sixteenth-ranked Xavier of New Orleans 72-71.

The Golden Eagles' women's basketball game, looking poised to win their second straight, instead gave up a 15-point second half lead, and lost in overtime at Tennessee-Martin 87-80.

In Atlanta, Jerrold Brooks scored 23 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer that gave Southern Miss the lead for good. Georgia State's last-second desperation heave missed left, and Head Coach Donnie Tyndall's team won its second straight to improve to 8-3.

In Hattiesburg, the tenth-ranked Crusaders trailed Xavier by 11 with less than eight minutes left in regulation, but battled back to make it a three-point game with 30 seconds left. Some fans started for the exits after the Crusaders failed to grab a rebound that would have given them a chance at a three-pointer to tie.

Xavier added a free-throw, but was then called for a lane-violation that kept their lead at four. Jeremiah Dunnings raced down the floor, hurled himself through the lane, draw contact, and heaved up a semi-desperation layup that fell. With five seconds left, the Xavier lead suddenly shrunk to two with five seconds remaining.

Shockingly, Xavier Head Coach Dannton Jackson was charged with a technical foul for arguing the call, and suddenly, the Crusaders, down two, earned three free throws to take the lead. Dunnings stepped to the line, and cooly knocked down the pair of technical foul shots, then added the and-one, and Carey lead 72-71.

Xavier never got a shot off, and what looked like a sure-fire loss became the Crusaders' second straight win, their second in dramatic fashion. Carey improved to 11-1, which is the best start in Head Coach Steve Knight's 31 seasons.

Jamierra Faulkner followed up her career night against Loyola with another monster night against Tennessee Martin. Faulkner registered a double-double of 36 points and 10 rebounds, while her teammate Tanecka Carey shot 9-of-16 and 5-of-7 from three point range to score 25 points. It wasn't enough, as Martin connected on 15 three-pointers, sank a pair of free throws with ten seconds left in regulation to force the overtime, and pulled away in the extra period.

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