Michael Craig had a huge game off the bench, scoring 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds and totaling three assists and three steals.
Jan. 9, 2013
HOUSTON - Southern Miss shot a school record 69.6-percent (32-of-46) from the floor as it defeated Rice, 75-52, in its Conference USA opener Wednesday night.
Southern Miss improves to 12-4 overall, 1-0 in C-USA.
"I thought our team was very unselfish tonight," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "We shared the ball and were aggressive in the open floor. I don't think we took one contested shot the entire night. I just thought we had a nice rhythm about us on the offensive end."
The Golden Eagles opened the game scoring the first seven points. After a basket by Ross Wilson, Southern Miss scored six straight points to take a 13-2 lead just 7:13 into the game.
Austin Ramljak connected on a three-pointer, but Brooks answered with a three of his own, followed by a jumper from Boardingham, giving Southern Miss an 18-5 lead
Five straight points from the Owls made it an eight point game. After the teams traded baskets, the Golden Eagles went on an 11-3 run to take its biggest lead of the half, 31-15, with 437 to play. But Rice closed the half on a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to 32-22 at the break.
The Black and Gold kept things going in the second half, hitting eight of its first nine shots, as Southern Miss grabbed a 49-29 lead with 12:53 to play. A three-pointer by Ramljak followed by a layup from Tamir Jackson cut the deficit to 15.
But a three-pointer from Cedric Jenkins propelled the Golden Eagles to an 18-5 run to take a 67-39 lead, their biggest of the game. Rice never got closer than 23 points. The Golden Eagles connected on 76.0-percent from the floor in the second half.
Southern Miss shot 4-of-8 from three-point range in the game, including hitting all three attempts in the second half. Rice was held to 37.5-percent (18-of-48) from the floor and 29.6-percent (8-of-27) from three. The Golden Eagles won the rebounding battle, 32-to-16, and had 19 assists and 11 steals.
The Black and Gold scored 46 of its points in the paint.
Ramljak led Rice with 14 points. Jackson scored 13 and Julian DeBose added 10.
Southern Miss will play its first home conference game this Saturday, Jan. 12, when it hosts Houston. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.
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