Jan. 20, 2007
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Freshman Jeremy Wise hit a two-foot floater that hung on the rim, before falling in with one second remaining in overtime, to lift Southern Miss to a 57-55 men's basketball Conference USA victory over UAB here Saturday afternoon at Bartow Arena.
The Golden Eagles (12-5 overall, 2-2 C-USA) snapped a two-game losing streak as they won for the second time on the road this season, while snapping the Blazers' 19-game home winning streak which was tied for eighth longest in the nation. The win was also the first time in five tries for the Golden Eagles over the Blazers in Bartow Arena, spanning to the 2000-01 season.
I don't think we played that bad offensively," said third-year Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy. "We were getting the shots, but we just had trouble making them. I was proud of the way that when our backs were against the wall, that we got some big stops on defense and found a way to make enough baskets to win."
Southern Miss converted 35 percent of its shots from the floor (21-of-60), while nailing 13-of-17 from the foul line (72.2 percent).
Wise scored a game-high 22 points, including the final four points in the overtime session, as he also made five of his final eight shots in the contest. Fellow freshman, Sai'Quon Stone, added 12 points and eight rebounds and Eustachy praised the Brooklyn, N.Y., product's play in the contest.
"Sai'Quon has become a leader for us both on the court and in the huddle," Eustachy said. "He says the right things at the right time in the huddle and does a multitude of things on the floor to help us win."
Southern Miss was up one point, 55-54, when Frank Holmes was fouled with 29 seconds left in overtime. Holmes, who finished the day 2-of-8 from the line, missed the first shot before making the second free throw to tie the score at 55-55.
The Golden Eagles then brought the ball up the floor and called timeout with just over 20 seconds remaining.
"That is the first time in 12 years that I have called a timeout in that situation, Eustachy added. "Normally, I like the team to come down in the flow of the game and take advantage of the momentum and try to win it.
But I thought our team was tired and I wanted to give them a breather for 90 seconds to try and setup the game winner. I thought they would come out into a 2-3 zone, and when they didn't, it worked in our favor."
Out of the timeout, Wise got the ball and held it out front before heading to the basket with six seconds left. Wise drove the lane and his floater hit the front of the rim and bounced over and in the basket, much to the chagrin of the 5,791 in attendance.
Southern Miss trailed 47-45 in regulation when Wise hit a layup and was fouled on the play with 3:07 to play. The Jackson, Miss., native, then hit the free throw to give the Eagles the one-point advantage. Wise then converted another attempt the next time down the floor and gave the visitors a three-point advantage with 1:45 to play.
Paul Delaney III, who led three Blazers in double figures with 19 points, hit three-of-four free throws in the final 1:31 to tie the score and send the game into overtime. Lawrence Kinnard and Wen Mukubu added 13 points each.
Southern Miss returns to action at home Wednesday, Jan. 24, when they entertain East Carolina at Green Coliseum. Game time is set for 7 p.m.