Feb. 5, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss held off a furious Marshall comeback to defeat the Thundering Herd, 67-60, Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
With the victory, Southern Miss improves to 18-5 on the year, 7-3 in Conference USA. Marshall falls to 15-8, 3-5 in the league. The win also gives the Golden Eagles a split in the season series.
Senior forward Gary Flowers and freshman guard D.J. Newbill both recorded their fifth double-doubles of the year. Flowers scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while Newbill had 12 points and 10 boards. Junior guard Angelo Johnson scored 13 points and had seven assists, and senior forward Josimar Ayarza added 10 points and seven rebounds.
"I thought we showed a lot of heart in this game," said head coach Larry Eustachy. "We didn't play our best game. We had a couple guys have off nights. We lost (Sai'Quon Stone) in the second half, and Josimar (Ayarza) fouled out. Yet, we were still able to win the game. That showed me a lot."
Southern Miss led 61-48 with 4:45 to play after two free throws by Flowers. Marshall then went on a 12-2 run to pull within three points with 35 seconds remaining. DeAndre Kane made the first of two free throws, and R.L. Horton got the rebound and was fouled. Horton missed both attempts from the charity stripe, but Maurice Bolden grabbed the offensive board, put the ball back and was fouled. Bolden converted the three-point play to push the lead to six points.
The Thundering Herd had three more attempts to score, but could not convert.
The Golden Eagles opened the game scoring eight of the first ten points. The teams went back and forth before a jumper and a three by Kane pulled Marshall to within one point, 14-13, with 11:32 to play in the first half.
However, Southern Miss went on a 16-5 run over the next 6:01 to lead by 11. A three-pointer by Dago Pena got the Herd to within eight points, but they would get no closer the rest of the half, as Southern Miss held a 36-24 lead at the break.
DeAndre Kane led Marshall with 20 points and five rebounds. Damier Pitts had nine points and five boards and Nigel Spikes added seven points and nine rebounds.
Southern Miss, who came into the game allowing a league-worst 50.6% from the field in league games, allowed Marshall to hit just 33.3-percent (20-of-60) from the floor while connecting on 23-of-58 (39.7%) themselves. They also hit just 25.0-percent (3-of-12) from behind the arc, but allowed just 6-of-20 (30.0%) by the Herd.
The Golden Eagles held a bit advantage at the line, hitting 69.2-percent (18-of-26) while Marshall connected on just 14-of-28 (50.0%). They also outrebounded the Herd, 49-to-39, and scored 21 second chance points to Marshall's eight.
Southern Miss will take a week off before heading back on the road next Saturday, Feb. 12, when it travels to Memphis. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. CT and will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
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