USM comes up empty down the stretch, falls at Akron, 72-54

Golden Eagles outscored 17-0 over final 4 minutes of men’s basketball game in MAC-Sun Belt Challenge
USM falters down the stretch, falls at Akron, 72-54.
USM falters down the stretch, falls at Akron, 72-54.(WILX)
Published: Nov. 11, 2023 at 3:52 PM CST
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From the University of Sothern Mississippi Sports Information Department

AKRON, Ohio. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi saw a close game at the University of Akron turn one-sided Friday night.

After pulling within 55-54 with 4 minutes, 14 seconds, to play on an Austin Crowley 3-pointer, the Golden Eagles failed to score again, as the Zips ran off the last 17 points of the night to run away with a 72-54 victory at James A. Rhodes Arena.

Akron guard Greg Tribble scored nine of his 13 points in the final 3:33, as the Zips (2-0) remained unbeaten on the early season.

Crowley tied for game-high scoring honors with 17 points. Guard Donavan Ivory had 10 points and four steals for the Golden Eagles (1-1), while guard Mo Arnold added seven points, a team-high seven rebounds and game-high seven assists.

Guard Nate Johnson scored 17 points for the Zips. Forward Enrique Freeman posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while adding three steals.

The game was part of the Mid-American Conference-Sun Belt Conference Challenge.

The opening half saw five ties and five lead changes, with the Golden Eagles leading by as many as seven early. Freeman’s bucket 10 seconds before halftime gave the Zips a 33-31 halftime edge.

Akron built the lead to 14 points, taking a 50-36 with 10:19 to play.

The Golden Eagles came roaring back, ripping of an 18-5 run that saw Arnold score seven consecutive points.

Crowley capped the run with his trey, but USM did little right in the endgame, committing fo9ur fouls, turning the ball lover three times

USM returns home Wednesday to host National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics foe Xavier University at 7 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.

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