Jan. 12, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Twelve players scored as Southern Miss stepped outside the conference for the final time of the year in beating Cal-State Bakersfield, 81-65, Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak.
Junior R.L. Horton, junior Gary Flowers and sophomore Angelo Johnson all had 13 points for the Golden Eagles. Horton added a season-high eight rebounds and four assists, and Johnson dished out a career-high seven assists.
"We did a lot of things well in the first half," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. But I thought we lost our focus in the second half. We need to be more physical. Right now, we're too soft. I thought Angelo (Johnson) played his best game of the year, and R.L. (Horton) had a good game."
Southern Miss (10-6) started out hot connecting on seven of its first 12 shots. With the score tied at two, the Golden Eagles scored the next eight points to take a 10-2 lead at the 3:50 mark. The teams traded baskets, with Southern Miss eventually holding a 25-15 lead with 9:20 to play.
But the Black and Gold went on a 10-0 run over the next 5:35 to take a 35-15 lead. Following a Stephon Carter jumper, Buchi Awaji connected on a three-pointer, giving Southern Miss its largest lead of the half with 2:53 to play at 38-17.
Cal-State Bakersfield (2-14) closed the half on a 6-2 run, but the Golden Eagles still led 40-23 at the break.
The Roadrunners closed to within 15 points early in the second half, but Southern Miss held them in check, increasing their lead to as many as 25 points.
Southern Miss connected on 50-percent (29-of-58) from the field, including 10-of-23 (43.5%) from beyond the arc. It was the first time that they hit 10 or more three-pointers since 2005.
The Golden Eagles also assisted on a season-high 22 baskets.
Carter led Cal-State Bakersfield with a game-high 25 points. Trent Blakley added 13 points and Santwon Latunde scored 10.
Southern Miss returns to conference play when it begins a two-game road swing this Saturday, Jan. 16 at UTEP. Tip-off is set for 8:05 p.m. CT.