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Southern Miss Dominates the Boards to Upend Tulane, 58-40

Jan. 30, 2010

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NEW ORLEANS, La. - Southern Miss used a big rebounding advantage and a career night from Angelo Johnson to defeat Tulane, 58-40, Saturday night at Fogelman Arena.

The victory snapped a ten game road conference losing streak. It is also the first time that Southern Miss has won three straight games at Tulane since 1998-2000.

"I thought we would struggle early having a week off, and we did," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "We preach that for every two shots we miss, we have to get one, and we did that tonight. You combine that with the way our guards played, particularly Buchi (Awaji) and Angelo (Johnson). They went 8-of-18, but 15-of-15 from the line. If you can do that on the road, you know you are going to be successful."

It was the first time Southern (12-8, 2-4 C-USA) Miss held an opponent to under 50 points since defeating Weber State last year, 68-49. The 40 points by Tulane (6-14, 1-6) were the lowest output by an opponent since holding Belhaven to 38 in 2006.

Johnson scored a career-high 20 points, including a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Buchi Awaji tied a career-high with 13 points. Gary Flowers led all players with 10 rebounds, while Sai'Quon Stone added nine boards.

Both teams started out slow as neither team hit a basket over the first 4:24. Stone put the first points on the board on two free throws, then connecting on a jumper to give the Golden Eagles a 4-0 lead.

Tulane came right back, and Jordan Callahan and Kendall Timmons hit two straight three-pointers to give them their only lead of the game with 14:11 to play in the first half. But, two three's by Johnson and Flowers keyed a 12-2 Southern Miss run over the next 5:35.

The Green Wave scored the next seven points to pull to within 16-14 with 6:36 to play in the half. But Southern Miss scored seven of the final nine points of the half to lead 23-16 at the break. The 16 first half points were the lowest allowed by the Golden Eagles in a half this year.

The Black and Gold opened the second half on a 7-2 run over the first 3:13 to grab a 30-18 lead. The teams traded baskets, with throughout the half, with Tulane getting as close as seven points four times.

But with Southern Miss ahead 44-37 with 3:40 to play, Johnson connected on two free throws followed by an Awaji jumper. Johnson then hit 10 straight free throws to close the game.

Southern Miss dominated the boards, outrebounding Tulane 44-19, including 16 offensive rebounds, which led to 18 second chance points. The Eagles shot 37.0-percent (17-of-46) from the field, and 91.3-percent (21-of-23) from the line.

The Green Wave was held to just 28.2-percent (11-of-39) from the field, the second lowest output for a Southern Miss opponent this year.

Southern Miss returns to action this Tuesday, Feb. 2, when it hosts SMU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

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