HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss turned a two-point halftime lead into a 29-point victory, defeating UTSA, 85-56, and snapping a two-game losing streak, Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The 29-point margin is the fourth largest in Conference USA play.
"In the first half, I thought we did a decent job," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "But the second half, we got some buckets early and were able to get our mojo back. We were able to wear them down in the second half."
Daveon Boardingham led all scorers with 19 points. Aaron Brown had 15, Jerrold Brooks had 13 and Matt Bingaya posted 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Neil Watson added nine points and seven assists.
Brooks started things off with a three-pointer. After Philip Jones hit two free throws, Boardingham hit a jumper. However, Keon Lewis found Edrico McGregor for a dunk. Boardingham hit another jumper and Watson hit two free throws to give Southern Miss a 9-4 lead just 3:21 into the game.
The teams then traded baskets over the next two minutes, with Keon Lewis hitting a three to pull UTSA within four. After Bingaya hit a jumper, the Roadrunners went on an 8-2 run to take its first lead of the game, 19-17, midway through the first half.
Bingaya made one-of-two free throws before Hyjii Thomas hit a pair to give the Roadrunners a 26-25 lead. Boardingham made a jumper before hitting one-of two foul shots, but two free throws from Keon Lewis tied it at 28 with 1:52 to play in the half.
Deonte Houston hit a jumper and Brooks hit one-of-two from the line. Phillip Jones hit two free throws, but Houston added one more as Southern Miss held a slim 32-30 lead at the break.
The Golden Eagles came out in the second half and immediately turned up the pressure, hitting their first eight shots to jump out to a 49-34 lead through the first 4:48. UTSA hit four straight free throws to cut it to 11, but a Jerrold Brooks three-pointer started a 15-2 Southern Miss run to push the lead to 24 and put the game away.
Southern Miss shot 52.5-percent (31-of-59) from the floor and 45.5-percent (5-of-11) from three. The Roadrunners were held to just 12-of-44 (27.3%) shooting and 4-of-20 (20.0%) from three. The Golden Eagles were outrebounded, 40-to-34, but recorded 22 assists and 12 steals.
Edrico McGregor was the only Roadrunner in double-figures, scoring 11 points.
Southern Miss returns to the hardwood this Saturday, February 22, when it hosts UTEP. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT and will be nationally-televised on CBS Sports Network.
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