Jeremy Wise drives to the basket during the first half. (AP)
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss never got things going, while UCF jumped out to the early lead and never looked back, as the Golden Eagles dropped their conference opener, 52-41, to the Golden Knights, Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum. The loss extended their losing streak to four games, dating back to December 23.
The game, which was broadcast on CSS, will be rebroadcast Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. (CT) due to inclement weather in the Hattiesburg area.
After the teams traded buckets to open the game, Courtney Beasley hit one-of-two free throws to give Southern Miss a 3-2 lead just over a minute into the game. It would be the last lead that Southern Miss would have. UCF went on a 10-0 run over the next eight minutes, while the Golden Eagles missed their next eight shots from the field.
The Golden Knights (8-7, 1-0 C-USA) twice extended their lead to 11. But the Southern Miss closed the half on a 7-1 run to cut its deficit to 20-15 at the half. The 15 first half points were the least number of points for a half this year.
UCF opened the second half on a hot streak, hitting its first six shots of the half, extending its lead to 37-23 just over six minutes in. Southern Miss pulled within seven, but it would get no closer.
UCF was led by Dave Noel with a game high 17 points, while Jermaine Taylor scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high eight boards. Mike O'Donnell added ten points for the Golden Knights.
Southern Miss shot 32.6% (15-46) from the field, including season-lows of 10.0% (1-10) from behind the arc and 47.6% (10-21) from the line.
The Golden Eagles continue its conference schedule this Saturday, January 12, when they host Tulane at 4:00 p.m. (CT) at Reed Green Coliseum.
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