Southern Miss collects 77-66 road win over Florida Atlantic
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Southern Miss built up a 17-point halftime lead and shot 8-for-12 on three-pointers to collect a 77-66 victory at Florida Atlantic on Saturday night.
"I'm so proud of our team, being on the road and that second game is always tough," head coach Doc Sadler said. "You add the fact that you are playing a big basketball team, and I felt if we could hold them to 10 offensive rebounds, we'd be fine, and they did get 15.
"The biggest thing is that defensively, we really defended the paint tonight and made everything difficult for them to get inside. They hit some three-pointers late that were tough shots. We helped a little by missing free-throws at the end, but I can't say enough about our team tonight."
The Golden Eagles led by as much as 20 when Dominic Magee swished a three-pointer in the first 15 seconds of the second half. The Owls climbed back to within 48-39 at the 12-minute mark, but Tyree Griffin and Cortez Edwards combined for the next nine points to bring the lead back to 57-41 with 9:23 to play.
FAU again got within single-digits at 67-58 with 2:23 to go. Edwards and D'Angelo Richardson each went 2-for-2 at the line to push the advantage to 71-58 with 1:42 to play, yet the Owls scored the next eight points to get within 71-66 at the 37-second mark. Edwards beat the press for a layup, and Southern Miss ultimately scored the next five points to seal the game.
It was tied at 12 before a 16-5 run that carried into the final five minutes of the half. With the lead down to 28-19 at the 3:57 mark, the Golden Eagles again embarked on a 10-2 run that was capped off by a Griffin jumper just before the buzzer.
"I can't say enough about the guys who came off the bench in the first half," Sadler said. "Tim Rowe, Penny [Anfernee] Hampton, D'Angelo and LaDavius Draine, they all came in and gave us great, positive minutes. Total team effort and a great win for us. I knew it would be difficult, but you have to tip your hat to our guys for playing all 40 minutes."
Southern Miss begins a four-game homestand Thursday versus Old Dominion. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT.
-Southern Miss shot 52.3 percent, its best away from Reed Green Coliseum since Dec. 4, 2016 at Jackson State (52.5 percent).
-The Golden Eagles' 8-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc marked its best (min. 5 makes) since Nov. 27, 2004 versus McNeese State (8-for-11).
-The last time Southern Miss shot 60 percent or better from long-range was a 13-for-20 game against ECU on March 2, 2013.
-The 21 points allowed in the first half were the second-fewest of any period on the year (Blue Mountain had 20 in first half).
-Southern Miss' 38-21 lead at the half was its largest since Dec. 13 at Alabama A&M (44-23).
-D'Angelo Richardson (10 points) collected his fifth-career double-figure scoring game. Southern Miss has won all those contests.
-Southern Miss won the turnover battle (13-9), the 21st time in 24 games it has done so.
-Tyree Griffin (21 points on 8-for-10 shooting) collected his seventh 20-point game of the year.
-Dominic Magee, limited to eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, scored all 16 of his points in the second half.
-Cortez Edwards, a native of Kissimmee, Fla., scored 15 points. In his last four games against FIU and FAU, he has averaged 18.5 ppg.