This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss closed the game on a 21-9 run over the final 4:10 to erase a 10-point deficit and defeat South Alabama, 68-59, Monday night from Reed Green Coliseum.
It was the fifth straight victory over the Jaguars, as Southern Miss moved to 2-0. It has also won 35 straight home non-conference regular season games, 22 straight November home games and 17 straight home games.
Matt Bingaya was a rebound short of his second straight double-double, leading all players with 14 points and nine boards while also tying a career-high with three blocks. Chip Armelin scored 13 points and had five rebounds. Shadell Millinghaus dropped in 11 points and Norville Carey recorded 10 points and six rebounds. Rasham Suarez added a game-high six assists.
“That was a tale of two halves,” said Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler. “We turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, and I honestly didn't know what team I was watching. But, in the second half, we only turned it over four times, and we played much better. I think it shows what kind of guys we have. They never got down. They just kept plugging away and they were rewarded in the end.”
South Alabama (1-1) led 29-22 at halftime. The teams traded baskets over the first two minutes of the second half. Bingaya and Armelin hit layups to cut the lead to four points, but a layup from Georgi Boyanov, followed by a Barring Stevens three-pointer gave USA a 40-31 lead two minutes later.
That's when the Golden Eagles started their comeback. Four straight baskets, followed by Bingaya connecting on one-of-two from the charity stripe, tied the game at 40 with 10:44 to play.
The teams traded a pair of baskets over the next three minutes. Following a timeout, Bingaya gave the Black and Gold its first lead of the game with 7:12 remaining.
After USA tied it, Dallas Anglin hit one of two free throws. South Alabama retook the lead at 49-47 on a jumper from Stevens. Southern Miss then scored six straight points, taking the lead for good.
South Alabama scored the first five points of the game. Jeremiah Eason made one of two free throws and Millinghaus hit a jumper to cut the lead to 5-3. But, jumpers by Ken Williams and John Brown pushed the lead to 9-3 just 3:16 into the game.
After trading baskets, Suarez drilled a three-pointer to pull the Golden Eagles to within 11-8. South Alabama again extended its lead on five straight points from Stevens.
A three-pointer from Eddie Davis, followed by a layup from Carey made it a three-point deficit for the Golden Eagles. But two South Alabama baskets extended their lead to 20-13 with eight minutes to play in the half.
However, Millinghaus and Armelin each scored three points to cut the lead to 20-19. But the Jaguars scored nine straight, capped off by a Luka Andjusic four-point play to take their biggest lead of the game, 29-19, with 3:14 remaining in the half.
Southern Miss shot 41.2% (21-of-51) from the field, including 53.8% in the second half. South Alabama was held to just 37.1% (23-of-62) from the floor and 18.5% (5-of-27) from three. From the free throw line, the Black and Gold we 23-of-34 (67.6%), while USA was just 8-of-10. The Golden Eagles also won the rebounding battle, 44-to-29.
John Brown led South Alabama with 14 points. Stevens had 12 and Taishaun Johnson added 10.
Southern Miss takes to the road for the first time this Thursday, Nov. 20, when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face Alabama. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be nationally-televised by the SEC Network.