Southern Miss' nine-game home win streak ends against ODU, 68-63
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Golden Eagles shot 73 percent in the first half and led by 11 early in the second, but Old Dominion rallied and came out on top in a 68-63 decision on Thursday night.
"The first half, we played about as well as we could play on both ends of the court," head coach Doc Sadler said. "In the second half, we did what we have done several times before in relaxing on the defensive end. ODU is up there with Middle Tennessee, WKU and UAB as the best teams in the league.
"Every possession counts. It doesn't matter if you're up nine at the half. We were scoring points, then we let them come out and score 20 points in the first eight minutes of the second half. Very few teams are good enough to be okay when that happens."
Dominic Magee connected on a corner three-pointer in the final seconds of the half for a 39-30 lead, then sank another jumper on the opening possession of the second half to match Southern Miss' largest lead of the night. Southern Miss again pushed its lead to 11 at the under-16 media timeout, as D'Angelo Richardson made two technical-foul free-throws.
The Monarchs (18-5, 9-2 C-USA) posted a 13-0 run to take their first lead since the opening possession, 50-48, with 11:34 to go. Southern Miss called a timeout and immediately followed it with a Tim Rowe put-back and Tyree Griffin three-pointer that gave it a 53-50 lead.
ODU took the lead for good on a Marquis Godwin three-pointer with 4:20 left at 60-59, and did not lead by more than three until sinking two free-throws in the final 10 seconds.
"I don't think we shot a bad shot in the second half," Sadler said. "We just didn't make them. I wish we had a little more movement because we got a little stationary, and we tried a few things differently. The one problem I have is that we played so well in the first half but didn't come out with the same execution in the second."
The Golden Eagles (12-13, 5-7 C-USA) now turn their attention to Saturday, when they host Charlotte at 4 p.m. CT.
-The nine-game home win streak was tied for the eighth-longest in school history.
-Southern Miss out-rebounded its opponent (34-28) for the first time since Dec. 10 against Troy. ODU entered the night No. 3 in the league for rebounding margin.
-The Golden Eagles entered the night No. 2 nationally in fewest turnovers per game, and were defeated in that stat for just the third time all season.
-D'Angelo Richardson now has 20 consecutive free-throws, the longest streak since Kourtlin Jackson had 22 during the end of the 2015-16 season.
-Tim Rowe's 5-for-5 game from the field marked his second double-figure scoring game of the season (10 vs. SUNO in opener), and his most field goals since Nov. 29, 2016 versus South Alabama.