USM's Tyndall credits NIT win to fans

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi men's basketball team is moving on in the post-season in large part due to the loud atmosphere created by the fans on Wednesday night. The Golden Eagles hung on to beat Charleston Southern University 78-71, and, USM head coach Donnie Tyndall wasted no time giving a salute to all the 5,000 plus that showed up to Reed Green Coliseum.

"I mean this sincerely, if it wasn't for our fans tonight and us being on our home floor, there's no way we win this game," he said at his post-game press conference, "They gave us energy when we needed it, and we're just very fortunate. We didn't play great, but Charleston Southern had a lot to do with that."

Junior guard Neil Watson, who only scored ten points but dished out five assists, agreed with those sentiments. "Whether it's the ball going up, or it's a bad call or the ball goes through the net, to hear all that love and support behind us makes us want to play harder."

Southern Miss will wait for their rematch with Louisiana Tech on Monday. The Bulldogs defeated the Golden Eagles 65-55 in Louisiana at the start of the season, and was likely a big loss that contributed to the Eagles not earning an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

Tip off from Reed Green on Monday is set for 9:00 pm.