Southern Miss improves to 12-0 at home
Southern Miss Sports Information
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - On a day where the bounces weren’t going Southern Miss’ (19-4, 8-2 SBC) way, the Golden Eagles grinded out 67-58 win over Texas State (11-12, 4-6 SBC) at Reed Green Coliseum. The win moved Southern Miss to 12-0 at home this season.
The big three of Austin Crowley, Felipe Haase and DeAndre Pinckney delivered for the 4,289 Southern Miss faithful in attendance. The three combined for 51 points and were paced by Crowley’s game-high 24.
Haase got the crowd rocking early as the Chilean forward connected on a three-pointer on Southern Miss’ first trip down the floor. The shots continued to fall for the Golden Eagles as they hit four of their first six shots to open up a four-point lead.
While it all started good, the shots started to fall short with a hair under seven minutes left in the half. The Black and Gold went on a nearly seven-minute-long scoring drought down the stretch in the first half that included six-straight misses.
The drought finally broke on a Haase three-pointer and then Pinckney delivered a monster slam dunk to put the Golden Eagles ahead by seven with 16 seconds left in the half. Texas State had a chance to cut the deficit to five at the buzzer, but Tyrel Morgan’s shot fell short to keep the score at 34-27 in favor of Southern Miss.
Southern Miss’ shooting woes continued in second half with the first eight shots coming up short – four of which were three-point attempts. The first field goal finally fell on a Pinckney dunk with 13:02 to go in the ballgame. The Golden Eagles’ lead dwindled from the seven-point halftime advantage to a tie when Nighael Ceaser drained a hook shot with 7:42 left.
The Bobcats answered each Southern Miss basket and took their first lead of the half on a Nate Martin field goal five minutes after Ceaser’s basket. Haase delivered his patented ‘boom’ 18 seconds later following a big three-pointer that erased the Texas State lead and gave it to Southern Miss for good.
After the big Haase basket, all Southern Miss had to do was hit free throws down the stretch to ice the game. The Golden Eagles connected on nine free throws down the stretch, but the dagger came on a Crowley steal that resulted in an and-one with 17 seconds left on the clock.
Southern Miss outscored Texas State 14-3 over the final three minutes to secure the nine-point win.
Haase finished with 17 points and has now scored 10-plus points in 75 career games. Pinckney, who has been on a tear in Sun Belt play, finished with 10 this afternoon. Neftali Alvarez and Tyler Morman provided the lone bench points for Southern Miss tonight after combining for 13.
Alvarez knocked down his first three-pointer the season and it came in style for the Puerto Rican guard. The bucket momentarily gave Southern Miss a four-point lead and then led to Pinckney taking a charge on the other end of the floor after Alvarez’s ball rattled around the rim for a few seconds before falling in.
Crowley led all Golden Eagles with seven rebounds, while Texas State outrebounded them 28-10 in the second half. The Bobcats finished with 39 rebounds to Southern Miss’ 31.
Haase and Alvarez each finished with three assists. Pinckney and Crowley each had three steals, while Southern Miss had eight as a team. The Golden Eagles went 8-of-22 from deep and shot 41.3 percent from the floor for the afternoon.
The win puts them at the top of the Sun Belt standings with eight games left in the regular season.
Southern Miss will travel to Troy on Thursday, Feb. 2 to take on the Trojans at 6 p.m. The Golden Eagles took the first meeting back on Dec. 29, 64-60.
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