USM men’s hoops rebounds, finishes perfect at home by topping Ga. Southern

Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 7:31 PM CST
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From the University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -Neftali Alvarez connected on career-high five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points, helping the University of Southern Mississippi top Georgia Southern University, 73-62, Saturday.

USM (24-5, 13-3 Sun Belt Conference) bounced back on Senior Day before 4,888 at Reed Green Coliseum after being road-stomped Thursday at the University of South Alabama.

The Golden Eagles remain atop the Sun Belt Conference standings, leading Marshall University by a game with two games to play in the regular season.

Saturday’s victory allowed USM to finish 15-0 at home, the first undefeated regular-season on the home court since the 2011-12 men’s basketball season.

USM’s 24 regular-season wins tied the mark also recorded by the 2011-12 crew that Larry Eustachy and Co. led to the NCAA Tournament.

The Golden Eagles hammered the Eagles of Georgia on the boards, outrebounding Georgia Southern, 48-25. USM’s Denijay Harris grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, including nine in a first half that saw USM grab a six-point lead at the break.

After USM built the lead to 15 points in the second half, Georgia Southern (14-15, 7-9) got back within eight points with 1 minute, 31 seconds, to play.

But DeAndre Pinckney delivered a wham-bam of a slam dunk and Alvarez clinched the win with a 3-pointer with 12 seconds to play.

Felipe Haas scored 13 points for USM in what could have been his final game before the home crowd. Pinckney added another 12 points.

USM will finish the regular season on the road, heading to Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday to face Old Dominion University before wrapping the regular season on Friday in San Marcos, Texas, to take on Texas State University .

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