USM drops heartbreaker Sunday in opening round of Jacksonville Classic

USM drops opening game of tourney to Utah Valley State.
USM drops opening game of tourney to Utah Valley State.(WILX)
Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 11:39 PM CST
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From University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (WDAM) - A potential, game-tying jumper from University of Southern Mississippi guard Mo Arnold came up short as the clock hit zero Sunday in a 67-65 loss to Utah Valley State University in the opening game of the Jacksonville Classic.

With the loss, the Golden Eagles (2-2) slide into the consolation bracket and will take on Cal State Fullerton at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Flagler Gymnasium.

Victor Hart led USM’s scoring with a career-high 18 points. Austin Crowley added 15 points and Donovan Ivory had 13.

Utah Valley Tanner Toolson led all scorers with 22 points.

USM trailed 34-30 at halftime, but stayed with the Wolverines (3-1), with the teams eventually knotted at 64-64 with just more than a minute to play.

UTah State’s Jaden McClanahan hit an uncontested 3-pointer from a deep corner to put the Wolverines up three points.

Arnold made one-of-two free throws to cut the score to two points, and when McClanahan missed a jumper, USM had one, last, desperate chance.

USM has dropped its last two games, both of them while away from its Reed Green Coliseum home court.

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