HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - At least two good things came out of Southern Miss ' basketball game Thursday night at Green Coliseum against Mississippi College.
The Golden Eagles did not lose and they scored enough points that the fans in attendance got a coupon for free chicken.
Other than that, the opening exhibition of the 2016-17 was a surprising struggle, as the Division III Choctaws took the Golden Eagles down to the wire before falling 96-95 in double overtime.
Sophomore swingman Bilal Abdur-Rahim and senior forward Quinton Campbell hit a pair of free throws in the final minute of double overtime for Southern Miss and senior forward Raheem Watts added two more foul shots with 4 seconds to play.
The Golden Eagles needed every one of the free throws as Mississippi College guard Antonio Johnson drilled his sixth 3-pointer of the game at the buzzer for the Choctaws.
"There were some good things, and I know how that sounds," Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler said. "I'm not as disappointed as some of our fans probably are, and I'm probably more optimistic than I probably should be."
Campbell and Watts each finished with 17 points for the Golden Eagles, while Abdur-Rahim and sophomore guard D'Angelo Richardson scored 13 and forward Tim Rowe had 12 points and six rebounds.
Johnson scored a game-high 22 points for the Choctaws, while forward Stacey Mack scored 21 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
Guard DeOndre Haynes added 16 points for Mississippi College, while guard Otis Harvey _ a transfer from Jones County Junior College _ added 13 points and guard Brandon Boston had 10.
Mississippi College out-rebounded Southern Miss 46 to 38 and shot 48.4 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from 3-point range.
But the Choctaws hurt themselves with 23 turnovers, including nine steals by the Golden Eagles.
"This is the first team that I've had here that can score points," Sadler said. "Some of the other things, we can correct those."
Campbell scored Southern Miss' first points of the season 28 seconds into the game on a 3-point basket before Mississippi College came back.
The Chocatws led by as many as six points in the first half before Southern Miss ripped off a 12-0 run to take its first double-digit lead of the game with about 3 minutes left in the first half.
The Golden Eagles led by 10 at halftime, 43-33, but Southern Miss could manage just six points over the first 7 ½ minutes of the second half as the Choctaws rolled out to a 55-49 lead.
"I think they outscored us 33-13 to start the second half, and that's just inexcusable," Sadler said.
The two teams were tied 71-71 after regulation and 82-82 after the first overtime.