Men's Basketball never trails in 72-54 win over Charlotte
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss never trailed and led by as much as 30 in the final minutes for a 72-54 win over Charlotte on Saturday evening in Reed Green Coliseum.
In the process, Southern Miss (13-13, 6-7 C-USA) matched its most league wins of Doc Sadler's four years at the helm. The team won three his first season, then improved to five and six in succeeding years. This was also the team's largest margin of victory against a C-USA foe since Feb. 25, 2017 versus North Texas (76-53).
"I was concerned a little bit at halftime because we got off to such a great start offensively, and Charlotte had started to make some shots," Sadler said. "Charlotte plays everyone close, and we let them get 10 points in a row before the half. When everything's going good for you offensively, that's when your defense needs to pick it up."
Southern Miss opened up a 13-2 lead at the start that eventually went to 22-7 on Tyree Griffin's three-pointer at the 6:11 mark. The 49ers closed to within 24-20 late in the half on a 10-0 run, but the Golden Eagles scored the final points via a Griffin layup to lead 30-24 at the break.
Charlotte (5-18, 1-11 C-USA) had pulled to within 30-27 before D'Angelo Richardson put together a four-point play in front of his bench, catapulting a 14-2 run that erased all doubt for the game.
"D'Angelo made that huge play, then Cortez Edwards makes a big play on an in-bounds pass and had back-to-back offensive rebounds," Sadler said. "We aren't shooting the ball as well as we had earlier, and maybe we are getting tired, but 19 assists to seven turnovers is great. Overall, I thought Thursday's first half [vs. ODU] was as good as we could play defensively and it was the same way in the second half today."
Southern Miss remains at home next weekend, first taking on Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. CT and then UAB on Saturday at 4 p.m.
-The 54 points allowed matched a season-low against a Division I team (Dec. 13 versus Alabama A&M, 69-54).
-This was Southern Miss' first win over Charlotte in the last 17 meetings (2014 victory vacated).
-Cortez Edwards (12 points, 10 rebounds) picked up his fifth double-double of the season and ninth of his career.
-Edwards now has 806 points in his career.
-Edwards' five steals were one off a career-high. Prior to that Jan. 18 win over Rice, the last Golden Eagle to get five steals in a game was Kourtlin Jackson on Feb. 20, 2016.
-Tim Rowe went 4-for-5 from the field, putting him at 9-for-10 on the weekend.
-Tyree Griffin recorded eight assists for the second-straight game.
-All six of Eddie Davis III's rebounds on the weekend were offensive.
-LaDavius Draine went 3-for-5 from long range as part of a 10-point game off the bench. It was the fifth time this year he's had three triples in a game (and sixth double-figure scoring game), with all coming against C-USA foes.