HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - USM Press Release
Erik McCree led three Louisiana Tech players in double figures with a game-high 25 points in helping the Bulldogs to a 70-59 Conference USA victory over Southern Miss Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Junior Khari Price paced the Golden Eagles with 17 points, while senior Kourtlin Jackson added 12, freshman Tim Rowe poured in 11 and sophomore Keljin Blevins tallied 10.
Alex Hamilton added 15 points for the Bulldogs, while Dayon Griffon added 13 as the visitors led the entire game, despite shooting 37.7 percent from the floor (20-of-53) and 29.2 percent from 3-point range (7-of-24).
“When you hold a team to 38 percent field and you only turn the ball over 11 times and you get beat on the offensive glass by only four rebounds against a much bigger team, all those things are positive,” said Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler following the game. “You also got some young guys a lot of minutes, but it is frustrating to lose.”
The Golden Eagles turned the ball over nine of their 11 times in the first half which led to nine LA Tech points, allowing the Bulldogs to jump out to an early lead in the contest. LA Tech built that advantage to as many as 15 points in the opening half, taking a 38-25 lead into intermission.
Southern Miss, though, opened the second period on a 6-0 run which was capped by a Jackson 3-pointer to cut the score to seven at 38-31 with 17:54 to play. Jackson scored all of his points in the second half.
The home squad continued to chip into the Bulldog lead and trimmed the deficit to 50-47 on a Rowe jumper with 10:21 remaining, but that was as close as the Golden Eagles got the remainder of the contest.
Southern Miss then fell victim to a shot clock violation and LA Tech scored nine of the next 11 points to again push the lead to double digits at 59-49 with 5:02 to play.
For the contest, LA Tech hit 23-of-31 free throws (74.2 percent) including 14-of-17 in the second half as well as seven-of-eight in the final minute.
The Bulldogs swept the season series with the Golden Eagles and have now won five consecutive games over Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles continue their three-game home stand next Thursday, Jan. 28, when they entertain UTEP. Game time is set for 7 p.m.