USM men’s basketball tops Texas State, clinches Sun Belt regular-season title

Golden Eagles wear Sun Belt basketball crown
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 9:33 PM CST
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SAN MARCOS, Texas (WDAM) - The highly improbable became reality Friday night for the University of Southern Mississippi men’s basketball team.

Felipe Haase scored a game-high 26 points Friday night to lead four Golden Eagles in double-figure scoring as USM went on the road and won a Sun Belt Conference championship.

The Golden Eagles toppled Texas State University, 79-69, in the regular season’s final game, and coupled with Old Dominion University’s 71-67 win over Marshall University, USM claimed the Sun Belt Conference title in their first year in the league.

USM (25-6, 14-4 Sun Belt), which finished a game ahead of the Thundering Herd (24-7, 13-5), also earn the top seed for the next week’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Pensacola, Fla.

Texas State (13-18, 6-12) led early, but the Golden Eagles went into the locker room with a 12-point halftime lead.

USM led by as many 18 points in the second half, and over the final 7 1/2 minutes of the game, the Bobcats never got closer than 10 points to the lead.

Denijay Harris backed Haase with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Austin Crowley added 17 points, while Neftali Alvarez added 15 points.

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