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Golden Eagles Soar Past UAB in Double OT, 93-85

Feb. 5, 2008

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Craig Craft scored a career-high 27 points and helped Southern Miss upend UAB, 93-85 in double overtime Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.

The Golden Eagles (12-10, 4-4 C-USA) have won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month, while UAB had a three-game win streak snapped.

"It was an exciting game," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "Jeremy (Wise) came up huge at the free throw line. That was a very talented team that we just beat, and it tells you what we're capable of."

Craft hit a quick jumper early in the second overtime to give Southern Miss the lead for good. Jeremy Wise sunk all eight of his free throws in the second stanza, as the Golden Eagles outscored UAB, 15-7, in the final session.

Wise added 19 points for Southern Miss while Andre Stephens had 14 and a game-high nine rebounds. Sai'Quon Stone and Courtney Beasley added 11 points apiece.

Robert Vaden led UAB with 26 points while Channing Toney added 17 and Lawrence Kinnard dropped in 16.

The game started with the teams trading baskets. With the game tied at six, Craig Craft hit a three-pointer, sparking an 11-2 run over the next 2:27 to give the Golden Eagles a 17-8 lead 8:28 into the game.

The teams went back and fourth, over the next six minutes, before Southern Miss score six straight points to take its largest advantage of the half, 35-29, before heading into the break ahead 37-25. Craig Craft scored 16 points in the first half to lead the Golden Eagles.

UAB came out battling in the second half, going on a 12-5 run to pull within four points with 8:32 to play. After exchanging buckets and Southern Miss clinging to a 66-61 lead, Robert Vaden hit two free throws, and Aaron Johnson nailed a jumper and was fouled by Andre Stephens. Johnson hit the free throw to pull the Blazers even.

After two Golden Eagle free throws and a bucket by Vaden, R.L. Horton hit one of two from the line. On the ensuing possession Vaden gave UAB a 70-69 lead, its first since the four minute mark of the first period. Southern Miss retook the lead on three free throws, but Johnson's jumper with 22 seconds sent the game into overtime. For the half, the Blazers shot 61.5% (16-26), led by Vaden's 15 points.

UAB led by as much as three in the second overtime, but it took a free throw by Johnson with 24 seconds left to send the game into the second overtime tied at 78.

Southern Miss begins a two-game road trip next Saturday. The Golden Eagles will face Tulsa on February 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

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