Jan. 4, 2008
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Southern Miss had three players score in double figures, but the Golden Eagles could not overcome a 15-point halftime deficit in a 61-56 loss at Savannah State here Friday night at Tiger Arena in non-conference basketball action.
The Golden Eagles (8-6) lost their third consecutive contest, while finishing the non-conference portion of the schedule for the second-straight season with a setback on the road at SSU.
Southern Miss, which trailed the entire game, fell behind big in the first half as they missed their first seven shots from the field and committed four turnovers before Andre Stephens delivered a dunk at the 10:43 mark
Stephens' dunk made the score 16-4 as Wise, who finished the night 2-of-14 from the floor and was 8-for-8 at the line, converted two free throws for the Golden Eagles' first points at the 16:26 mark.
The Tigers (8-12) had a two-game losing streak snapped as they led by as many as 19 points in the opening half after a bucket from Chris Linton to make the score 23-4 with 8:12 remaining.
Linton led the Tigers with 12 points, while Lazarius Coleman added 11 as SSU converted 51.2 percent (21-of-41) in the contest.
Southern Miss cut the gap to 15 at intermission at 35-20, before rallying over the opening portion of the final 20 minutes. The Golden Eagles scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second half over the first two-plus minutes with Craig Craft ending the run with his second 3-pointer during that stretch, cutting the gap to 37-31 with 17:46 to play.
The visitors kept the deficit to under double digits the remainder of the game and got as close as two points at 50-48 with 6:23 left following a Wise 3-pointer.
After Anthony Jones hit two free throws with 2:20 left to make the score 54-49, Horton made a bucket on the ensuing possession to cut the margin to three and Wise then collected a steal on SSU's next possession, but the Golden Eagles missed a shot by Stephens and Linton then delivered a pair of layups for the Tigers the next two trips down the floor to lengthen the advantage.
The Golden Eagles open C-USA play Tuesday when they entertain UCF in an 8 p.m., contest at Reed Green Coliseum. The game will be broadcast regionally on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS).
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