HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Alabama-Birmingham went on a 21-2 run late in the second half to run away from the University of Southern Mississippi 87-69 Saturday evening at Reed Green Coliseum.
USM (13-15, 6-9 Conference USA) dropped its third game of a four-game homestand that included three of C-USA's top six teams paying a visit to Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles lost to league-leading Middle Tennessee State University and Old Dominion University as well as the sixth-place Blazers.
Saturday, the Golden Eagles led 36-33 at halftime and led by five twice in the first nine minutes of the second half.
But the Blazers (17-11, 8-7) eventually tied the score 57-57, and after USM went back up on two free throws, went on the game-deciding run. Over the game's final 8 minutes, 35 seconds, UAB outscored the Golden Eagles 30-10.
It was the second consecutive game USM struggled to score down the stretch. Thursday night, the Golden Eagles failed to score in the final 7:14 of play as MTSU broke away from a 62-62 tie to win by 10.
USM junior guard Cortez Edwards scored a team-high 19 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out five assists. USM junior guard Dominic Magee had 18 points, four rebounds and two assists. Magee hit 7-of-9 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
USM junior point guard Tyree Griffin scored nine points, handed out six assists and came up with four steals.
UAB senior forward William Lee also hit 7-of-9 shots to score 20 points and he posted a double-double with 14 rebounds.
Guard Zack Bryant surpassed the freshman single-season scoring record after going for 18 points Saturday, including 15 in the second half. He also had four rebounds and three assists.
Junior forward Lewis Sullivan added 15 points and six rebounds and junior guard Nick Norton had 10 points.
USM will head to Texas for its final two, regular-season road games. The Golden Eagles face the University of Texas-San Antonio at 7 p.m. Thursday before taking on the University of Texas-El Paso at 8 p.m. Saturday.