This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Louisiana Tech scored 33 points off 19 Southern Miss turnovers, offsetting the Golden Eagles' hot shooting, as Southern Miss fell, 83-70, Saturday night in both team's Conference USA opener.
The Black and Gold fall to 5-7 on the year, 0-1 in C-USA. The loss snaps a 12-game home conference winning streak, and it is the first C-USA opening loss since 2010.
Chip Armelin scored 23 points to lead Southern Miss. Matt Bingaya scored 18 points and Davon Hayes added 10. Rasham Suarez recorded seven points, eight assists and six rebounds.
“It's the same thing,” said Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler. “I like our effort, but until we get a sense of urgency and understand how important every possession is, we're going to continue to be in this situation. We gave up 55 points off turnovers and second chances, and you're not going to win doing that.”
Louisiana Tech (10-4, 1-0) 47-29 after two free throws to start the second half. Hayes hit a three-pointer and Armelin drove in for a layup to pull within 13, but Xavian Stapleton hit a three of his own.
After a pair of baskets from Bingaya and Armelin, Alex Hamilton made a layup and Stapleton hit another three to push the lead back out to 55-38, 5:09 into the half.
Armelin then made a jumper and Bingaya converted a three-point play, cutting the deficit to 12. After a layup from Hamilton, Armelin drained a three. Hamilton made jumper, but Bingaya made a three to cut the deficit to 59-49 with 12 minutes to play.
Qiydar Davis putback Hamilton's missed three, but Armelin hit his third three of the game to bring the Golden Eagles to within nine points, the first time they were within single digits since four minutes left in the first half.
Louisiana Tech scored the next six points over 1:15, converting two straight turnovers into points. But Southern Miss answered with a 6-0 run of its own to get back to a nine-point deficit with 7:31 to play.
Jeremiah Eason then grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it up, but jumpers from Raheem Appleby and Stapleton extended the lead to 13.
After trading baskets, Bingaya sandwiched five points around a Suarez free throw to pull Southern Miss to 73-66 with 2:28 to play. However, Hamilton hit a three with one second remaining on the shot clock, and the Bulldogs hit 6-of-8 free throws to ice the game.
Southern Miss started fast as Suarez immediately drove in for a reverse layup. After a Raheem Appleby jumper, Suarez hit Jeremiah Eason down low, who laid it up with his left hand. However, an Erik McCree three-pointer sent the Bulldogs on an 8-0 run and a 10-4 lead 3:29 into the game.
Hayes made a layup, and following a Michale Kyser turnover, Suarez hit Matt Bingaya in the left corner for a three-pointer, cutting the deficit to just 10-9. But, once again, Louisiana Tech went on a 9-2 run to take a 19-11 lead.
Suarez drilled a three-pointer, but a basket by Appleby and a Xavian Stapleton three pushed the lead to 24-14 with 10:42 to play.
Norville Carey hit a pair of free throws and Hayes hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five points. Appleby followed with a three, but Armelin found Carey streaking toward the basket for a dunk.
After Kyser made a jumper, Armelin drained a three to pull within 29-24 with 6:02 to play in the half. However, the Bulldogs closed the half on a 16-5 run to lead, 45-29 at the break.
The Golden Eagles shot 62.8% (27-of-43) from the field and 52.9% (9-of-17) from three. Louisiana Tech was 29-of-60 (48.3%) from the field and 13-of-38 (34.2) from three. The Bulldogs also outrebounded Southern Miss, 25-to-24.
Appleby led all scorers with 30 points. Stapleton had 17 and Hamilton had 16. Kenny Smith added 11 assists.
Southern Miss begins a two-game road trip next Thursday, January 8, when it travels to San Antonio, Texas to face UTSA. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by the American Sports Network.