Three newcomers combined to score more than half of the University of Southern Mississippi’s points Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough as the Golden Eagles fell to IBA Elite 107-106 in overtime in the first of three preseason games in the Bahamas.
Transfer guard Tyree Griffin (Oklahoma State University) led the Golden Eagles with 24 points, while transfer guard Dominic Magee (University of Memphis/Grand Canyon University) had 23 points and eight rebounds. Freshman signee guard LaDavius Draine (Calhoun City High School) added 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
USM led by as many as 16 points in the first half. But the Golden Eagles trailed by as many as 10 points with 6 minutes, 53 seconds, left in the game before rallying to send the game into overtime.
USM was still down by four points with 46 seconds to play in the extra period, but after scoring on a layup, Magee intercepted a pass near mid-court and converted the steal into a three-point play. His free throw put the Golden Eagles ahead 106-105 with 8 seconds left in the game.
IBA called a timeout, and with 2 seconds left in the game, were able to get the ball inside for a point-blank, game-winning basket.
“When you play, you want to win, so I’m obviously disappointed,” USM coach Doc Sadler said. “But I really thought there were some positives. We came back in regulation when we were down and got into overtime. We missed a couple of opportunities to maybe get an easy basket, but, overall, that’s why we came down here.
“We’ve got five guys (who) haven’t played in over a year, so while I’m disappointed we didn’t win, I thought there were some good things. Overall, I’m pretty pleased.”
USM takes on the Providence Storm at 6 p.m. today.