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Go Eagles!
 
Southern Miss Earns Hard Fought Victory Over East Carolina, 84-77

Gary Flowers hit 17 points to help the Golden Eagles beat ECU for the fourth consecutive time. (File Photo)

Gary Flowers hit 17 points to help the Golden Eagles beat ECU for the fourth consecutive time. (File Photo)

Jan. 26, 2011

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Southern Miss got its most balanced game of the season, placing six players in double-figures in an 84-77 victory over East Carolina from Minges Coliseum.

With the victory, Southern Miss improves to 15-5 overall, 4-3 in Conference USA. ECU falls to 11-9, 3-3.

It is the fourth straight victory over the Pirates and ninth in the last ten meetings.

"This is as sweet a win as I've had in a long time, personally," said head coach Larry Eustachy. "It was just a great game with a great atmosphere. We showed a lot of character and everybody had their moment. That was our whole team. We were not going to be denied. This team was so determined. The last few days, this team has showed me the character that I knew they had. We just made the plays down the stretch that we needed to make."

Senior Gary Flowers led the Eagles with 17 points and eight rebounds. Senior Sai'Quon Stone had 13 points, including 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Freshman D.J. Newbill had 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior R.L. Horton and junior Maurice Bolden each had 11 points, and junior Angelo Johnson added 10 points and five assists.

Southern Miss led 37-35 at the break. Bolden scored eight of the Eagles first 10 points through the first 4:20 of the second half, but Eagles only held a 47-45 lead.

ECU scored eight of the next 11 points over the next 5:14 to take a 53-50 lead. But, Johnson connected on consecutive three-pointers to give Southern Miss a 56-53 lead. After three straight ECU free throws tied the game, Johnson hit two from the charity stripe, and Darrius Morrow hit a lay-up to tie the game for the final time.

Sai'Quon Stone gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good with a three-point play with 7:58 to play. The teams traded points over the next 1:45. But Southern Miss went on a 14-6 run to take its largest lead of the game, 77-68, with 1:20 to play.

But the Pirates did not go away. ECU pulled within five. After Stone and Morrow traded a pair of free throws, Stone and Newbill each hit one-of-two free throws for an 81-75 lead with 33 second left. Jamar Abrams hit a lay-up to again pull within four with 16 seconds left.

After a foul and two free throws by Johnson, Brock Young missed a three-pointer with eight second remaining, and Flowers grabbed the rebound, sealing the victory.

Darrius Morrow led all scorers with 18 points. Jontae Sherrod had 16 points East Carolina. Brock Young and Corvonn Gaines scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Jamar Abrams added 10.

Jontae Sherrod got things going for East Carolina with an early jumper. Horton connected on a three-pointer to give Southern Miss the lead 2:13 into the game, but it was the only lead they would hold until the final 32 seconds of the half when Newbill broke a 35-35 tie with two free throws.

The Black and Gold shot 55.1-percent (27-of-49) from the field, and was 6-of-11 from three-point range. They also connected on 80.0-percent (24-of-30) from the free throw line. East Carolina was 22-of-43 (51.2%) from the floor, but connected on just 30.0-percent (6-of-20) from behind the arc. They were also 27-of-34 (79.4%) from the charity stripe. Southern Miss also outrebounded ECU, 30-22.

Southern Miss returns to Reed Green Coliseum to face Tulane this Saturday, Jan. 29. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CT.

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