Strong 2nd half propels USM past UL-Lafayette, 82-71

USM uses strong 2nd half to top Louisiana-Lafayette
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 10:51 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - DeAndre Pinckney led the University of Southern Mississippi with 22 points and six rebounds Thursday night as the Golden Eagles rallied past the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, 82-71, to stand alone in first place in the Sun Belt Conference.

Felipe Haase scored 17 points, all in a second half that saw USM outscore the Ragin’ Cajuns, 49-33, before a sellout crowd of 8,097 at Reed Green Coliseum.

According to USM’s men’s basketball social media account, Thursday night’s crowd was the fifth-largest in program history.

Neftali Alvarez, who did not play in a Jan. 5 loss at UL-Lafayette, also added 17 points, including 14 points in the first half to help keep the Golden Eagles within striking distance.

USM (22-4, 11-2 Sun Belt) closed the first half on a 7-2 run to get within five points at the break.

The roof eventually fell in on the Ragin’ Cajuns in the second half.

UL-Lafayette (20-5, 10-3) handed out just one assist over the final half, shooting just 28.6 percent from the field, including an 0-for-10 touch from 3-point range.

USM, which is 13-0 in Hattiesburg, will welcome the University of Louisiana-Monroe at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Green Coliseum.

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