Feb. 4, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Southern Miss made a valiant comeback from 10 points down, but it wasn't enough, lost, their second straight road game, falling 82-79 at East Carolina, Wednesday night at Minges Coliseum.
The loss was the second straight for the Golden Eagles, and snapped a five-game winning streak over East Carolina.
"We had some breakdowns where we didn't make some plays," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "We changed up a little bit at the half, and it just goes to show you that we have more guys. We can't absorb a few mistakes. Our team is only going to get better, but so is East Carolina. It doesn't get any easier, particularly when our margin for error is so small."
Courtney Beasley recorded his second straight double-double to lead the Golden Eagles, scoring 23 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. It was his fifth double-double of the season and seventh of his career. Craig Craft recorded his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. R.L Horton had 18 points, and Jeremy Wise added 16.
Southern Miss (13-8, 3-4 C-USA) trailed 41-31 at the half. The Golden Eagles began the second half on a 17-4 run to take a 48-45 lead. ECU (11-10, 3-5) regained the lead, but Southern Miss took it back twice more, the last was a 52-51 advantage with 10:26 remaining.
But, a three-pointer by Jamar Abrams sparked a 10-3 run, giving East Carolina a 61-55 lead with 7:44 to play. The Golden Eagles cut the deficit to four, but East Carolina went on an 11-5 run to take a 72-62 advantage with 1:24 to play. However, Southern Miss connected on four three-pointers in the final 37 seconds for the final deficit.
Southern Miss grabbed an early 5-1 lead through the first 1:28. However, the teams traded leads nine time through the first 10 minutes, with neither team holding more than a four-point lead. With Southern Miss holding a 19-18 lead, East Carolina went on a 10-2 run over the next 4:36 to take a 28-21 lead.
East Carolina led by as many as 12 the rest of the half, holding a 41-31 lead at the break. The Pirates connected on seven three-pointers in the half and were 10-of-12 from the line.
The Pirates had five players in double-figures, led by Brock Young with 17 points. Sam Hinnant had 14 points, and James Legan had 14 points and eight rebounds. Abrams added 12, and Darrius Morrow added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Of East Carolina's 23 baskets, 12 were three-pointers. They also connected on 82.8-percent (24-of-29) of their free throws.
Southern Miss returns home this Saturday, Feb. 7. The Golden Eagles will host UAB in a regionally-televised game on CSS. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. CT.
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