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Tulsa Finishes Strong to Upend Southern Miss in C-USA Opener

Jan. 7, 2009

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Jerome Jordan tallied game-highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds as Tulsa overcame a double-digit deficit in beating Southern Miss, 67-58, Wednesday night at Reed Green Coliseum in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

Tulsa (10-5) won for the second straight outing, while the Golden Eagles (9-5) had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Jordan tallied his fifth double-double of the season, while Ray Reese added 11 of his 14 points in the second half and Bishop Wheatley tallied 12 for the Golden Hurricane.

Craig Craft led the Golden Eagles with 12 points, while Courtney Beasley, Andre Stephens and R.L. Horton all added 11. Beasley also added a team-high nine rebounds.

"When I look at the 42-26 rebounding advantage that they had, that tells me that we just got outplayed," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "I think the whole thing turned when they really started hitting the boards and we could not keep them off of them."

The Golden Eagles scored 11 of the first 13 points in the contest and led by as many as 12 in the opening half before taking a 34-27 lead into halftime.

Southern Miss shot 48 percent in the opening half, but got cold down the stretch, as the visitors outscored the Eagles 19-4 over the final 10:17. Southern Miss hit its last bucket with 5:46 to play on a Beasley jumper at 58-56 to give the Eagles their final lead of the contest.

After Beasley's made jumper, the Golden Eagles missed their final seven shots from the floor and lone free throw.

TU, which trailed for the first 31-plus minutes, tied the game three times before taking the lead for good at 60-58 on a Jordan layup with 4:39 to play. Jordan then hit the next two buckets for the Golden Eagle Hurricane with the final one ending on a three-point play with 35.6 seconds left to put the game out of reach.

The visitors dominated on the boards in the contest 42-26, including 13-3 on the offensive end. That led to an 18-3 advantage in second-chance points.

The Golden Eagles return to action on the road at Tulane, Jan. 14, with a 7 p.m. tipoff. TU stays on the road for a non-conference game at Charlotte, Saturday, with a 4 p.m., start.

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