USM remains unbeaten at home with win over James Madison

Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 11:21 PM CST
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Behind DeAndre Pinckney’s career-high 28 points, the Southern Miss (17-4, 6-2 SBC) men’s basketball team picked up its 10th home win of the season after downing James Madison (13-8, 4-4 SBC) 83-70 on Saturday afternoon.

Southern Miss benefited from a season-best 60.4 shooting percentage that included a 64 percent clip in the second half. The Golden Eagles got off to a fast start after scoring six of the game’s first eight points.

Felipe Haase got the scoring started after backing down his defender in the paint for an easy basket on the first possession. Denijay Harris followed with a contested score, then Pinckney lit up for back-to-back jumpers.

James Madison fought off several Southern Miss runs to stay within striking distance for much of the first half. The Golden Eagles twice led by nine in the first half, but the Dukes were able to erase both leads.

Victor Hart knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Black and Gold another nine-point lead – this time it didn’t go anywhere for the next four minutes.

But as it did previously, James Madison ripped off an 8-0 run to make it a 43-36 game at the break. Terrence Edwards knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it a seven-point game. Pinckney had 12 of his 18 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.

Almost as big of a story was the dominant return of Neftali Alvarez on the defensive side of the ball. The Puerto Rican guard returned from injury on Thursday night, but today he had two steals in the 12 minutes of action in the first half. Both of those first half steals led to dunks by Pinckney and Harris.

The Dukes cut the Golden Eagle lead to five in the first two minutes of the second half, but a three-pointer and dunk from Pinckney put Southern Miss up 12 again. James Madison again cut it to single digits – this time nine – before Austin Crowley and Harris scored back-to-back baskets to put the lead into double digits for good.

With Pinckney nearing his career-high in points, Donovan Ivory came off the bench late in the half to give Southern Miss another spark already up 17 with eight minutes to play. Ivory created a 6-0 run of his own to make it a 19-point Southern Miss advantage with four minutes left on the clock.

Ivory and Pinckney would go on to score the final 15 points of the game for Southern Miss when the buzzer went off with them securing the 13-point victory. Ivory finished with eight points in just under 10 minutes of action.

Pinckney had another efficient night as the Florida native went 11-of-15 from the floor and drilled two three-pointers. Crowley gave the 4,318 in attendance a 14-point night and Harris added 10. Haase finished his night with nine points and four assists.

Jay Ladner got productive minutes from Victor Hart, Tyler Morman and Ivory tonight. The three combined to log nearly 25 minutes of action.

Southern Miss’ 23 assists were the most its recorded in a single game this season and were paced by Mo Arnold’s five dimes. It also forced at least 10 steals for the first time since swiping 11 from Troy on Dec. 29. It was the ninth game this season with at least 10 steals.

The Golden Eagles will continue their four-game homestand on Thursday, Jan. 26 when Arkansas State comes to Reed Green Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

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