HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Norville Carey's steal and dunk with 5.7 seconds left in the game capped off a nine-point second half comeback, as Southern Miss defeated Troy, 72-70, Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Matt Bingaya scored a career-high 25 points, while grabbing four rebounds and three assists. Chip Armelin scored a season-high 15 points and Rasham Suarez had a season-high nine points and five assists. Carey added seven points, five boards and three steals.
“You have to give our guys a lot of credit,” said Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler. “Our guys found a way to win the basketball game. We didn't play one of our best games, but this team is beginning to share the basketball, and it showed with 16 assists.”
Musa Abdul-Aleem opened the second half with a driving layup to give Troy its largest lead of the game at 44-35. Shadell Millinghaus and Bingaya then hit three-pointers to cut the lead to three. John Walton III made one-of-two free throws, and Armelin hit a three to cut the deficit to 45-44 two minutes into the half.
After the teams traded a pair of baskets, Abdul-Ameer drained a three and Walton hit two free throws to take a six-point lead, but Suarez answered with a three of his own, and Carey made a layup to pull to within one.
Wesley Person hit a three for Troy, but Southern Miss made three-of-four from the charity stripe to again pull within one.
The teams traded baskets before Abdul-Aleem hit his sixth three-pointer of the night, giving Troy a 62-58 lead with 8:20 to play.
Suarez answered with a three, and 2:30 later, Anglin found a streaking Davon Hayes for a layup to give the Golden Eagles their first lead since midway through the first half. Troy took the lead right back, but layups by Bingaya and Armelin gave Southern Miss a 67-64 lead with 3:48 to play.
Over a minute later, Chris Bilbo hit a layup to cut the deficit to one. After Bingaya hit one-of-two from the line, Bilbo hit a floating jumper to tie the game at 68. Bingaya came right back and gave Southern Miss the lead, but Bilbo again tied it with 50 seconds left.
After Armelin missed a running jumper with 36 seconds left, Suarez played tough defense on Bilbo, who couldn't get away from Suarez, eventually allowing Carey to come up with the steal and the go-ahead dunk. Troy had one more chance, but an errant pass under the basket ended the game.
Southern Miss shot 45.5% (25-of-55) for the game, including 51.9% in the second half. The Golden Eagles were 9-of-23 (39.1%) from three and 13-of-17 (76.5%) from the line. Troy shot 49.0% (24-of-49) for the game and 40.0% (8-of-20) from three. The Trojans outrebounded Southern Miss, 36-to-23, but the Black and Gold scored 20 points off of 19 Troy turnovers.
Abdul-Aleem led all scorers with 26 points. Walton had 12 points and seven rebounds and Bilbo had 12 points. Person added 10 for the Trojans.
Troy opened the scoring with a jumper from Chris Bilbo. However, Bingaya scored five straight points, as Southern Miss went on a 10-2 run to take a 10-4 lead four minutes into the game. Wesley Person hit a layup, but Norville Carey hit a pair of free throws.
Kevin Thomas made two straight baskets to pull the Trojans within two, but Dallas Anglin made a three to extend the lead back to five.
The teams then traded a pair of baskets. But, Troy began to pick up the pace. Troy went on a 14-5 run, paced three three-pointers from Musa Abdul-Aleem, to take a 28-24 lead with 4:51 to play in the half. Two free throws by Armelin cut the deficit to two, but a 7-2 Troy run gave it a 35-28 lead.
Southern Miss came right back. Anglin made a pair of free throws and Armelin hit a running jumper to make it a 35-32 game. Abdul-Aleem hit two free throws, but Bingaya hit a three to make it a two-point game.
However, Southern Miss turned the ball over twice in the final 41 seconds of the half, and Troy turned them into five points to take a 42-35 lead at halftime.
Southern Miss takes to the road this Sunday, November 30, when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa., to face Drexel. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT