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Southern Miss Falls to Hot-Shooting SMU, 79-65

Jan. 22, 2011

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DALLAS, Texas - SMU shot 69.8-percent from the floor as Southern Miss dropped its second straight game, 79-65, to SMU, Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum.

Southern Miss falls to 14-5 overall, 3-3 in Conference USA. SMU improves to 11-8, 2-3.

The Mustangs shooting percentage is the second most ever for a Southern Miss opponent. It is also the second highest in a Conference USA game.

"You have to give SMU credit," said head coach Larry Eustachy. "They shot the lights out of the ball. We knew what we were coming into. Our defense has really slipped. We haven't been right the last three or four games. We're trying to fix that, but things are only going to get tougher.

Junior Angelo Johnson led the Golden Eagles with 16 points, including four three-pointers. Senior Gary Flowers added 12 points. Seniors R.L. Horton, Sai'Quon Stone and freshman D.J. Newbill all scored nine points.

Flowers hit a jumper to give Southern Miss an early 2-0 lead 57 seconds into the game. But, SMU went on an 11-2 run over the next 5:27. The Golden Eagles pulled to within three points on a Newbill jumper, but the Mustangs extended their lead to 22-12, their biggest of the first half, midway through the half as they connected on their first five three-pointers.

After trading baskets, Southern Miss went on a 14-5 run, culminating with a Johnson trey with 39 second remaining to tie the game at 31. However, Mike Walker hit SMU's seventh three-pointer of the half with four seconds remaining to send SMU into halftime with a 34-31 lead.

Johnson and Newbill started the second half with a pair of three-pointers to give Southern Miss a 37-34 advantage. However, the lead would be short-lived, Collin Mangrum and Robert Clinkscales connected on three's of their own to give SMU a 40-37 lead.

Johnson tied the game at 40 with another trey 4:04 into the second stanza, but SMU went on a 12-2 run over the next 4:34 to take a 52-42 advantage. Southern Miss would get no closer than seven points, as the Mustangs led by as many as 18.

Papa Dia was a perfect 10-of-10 from the field, as he led all players with 23 points and nine rebounds. Robert Nyakundi scored 16 points, Mangrum had 15 and Clinkscales added 12.

Southern Miss shot 42.9-percent from the field (21-of-49). The Mustangs connected on 12-of-18 (66.7-percent) from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles shot 88.9-percent from the line (16-of-18) and outrebounded SMU, 27-19.

Southern Miss closes out its two-game road trip next Wednesday, January 26, when it travels to Greenville, N.C. to face East Carolina. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.

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