Feb. 23, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Southern fell behind late in the first half and could never recover, as the Golden Eagles fell, 89-73, to 19th-ranked Memphis, Saturday afternoon.
Southern Miss dropped to 21-7 on the year, 10-3 in Conference USA. The loss was the Golden Eagles' 13th straight at Memphis (24-3, 13-0).
"I thought, for the most part, that our team competed for 40 minutes," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "(Memphis) is a very, very talented team. After playing them the second time, I think they're arguable the best passing team in college basketball. We were right there in the first half. But the run they went on to end the first half was the difference in the game."
Dwayne Davis led the Golden Eagles with a career-high 28 points, including 18 in the first half, while also recording four rebounds and four assists. He was 8-of-13 from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Jerrold Brooks scored 16 points and Jonathan Mills had 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The game began as a close affair. Adonis Thomas opened things for Memphis with a three-pointer. After a Davis jumper, Shaq Goodwin converted a dunk. Davis then hit a layup, and following a Memphis turnover, Davis hit two free throws to give Southern Miss its first lead, 6-5, 2:02 into the game.
Following a turnover from Johnson, Watson drove in for a layup to give Southern Miss a three-point lead. However, the Black and Gold missed six of their next seven shots as Memphis took a 13-10 lead.
Brooks tied the game with a three-pointer and Davis hit two free throws to go up 15-13. Goodwin tied the game, but Davis immediately put Southern Miss back on top with a three-pointer. The teams then traded baskets.
With Southern Miss leading 20-19 with 7:00 to play in the half, Watson stole a D.J. Stephens pass, but had the ball stripped by Goodwin. Goodwin went in for the layup to give Memphis the lead, but Watson committed an intentional foul, grabbing him from behind. Goodwin made both free throws and with Memphis keeping possession, got a dunk from D.J. Stephens to go up 25-20.
Davis hit one-of-two free throws and Brooks hit a jumper. After a three-pointer from Chris Crawford, Daveon Boardingham cut the deficit to one, 28-27 with 4:36 to play in the half. However, Memphis closed the half on an 18-3 run to take a 46-30 lead into the break.
Memphis scored the first six points of the first five points of the second half. Southern Miss finally got on the board with a layup from Davis. The teams traded points, but a Joe Jackson three gave Memphis its largest lead of the game, 57-43, 3:39 into the half.
A layup from Davis followed by a three-pointer from Brooks cut the deficit to 18. Jackson and Brooks traded three-pointers and Goodwin and Mills traded layups before Thomas hit a three-pointer for a 21-point Memphis lead.
But layups from Mills sandwiched a Rashard McGill three-pointer as Southern Miss cut the lead to 65-51 with 10:57 to play.
Jackson hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 16 and the teams each scored layups after that. After McGill hit his second three-pointer, Stephens connected on a pair of free throws. Mills then hit a layup and Crawford hit one-of-two free throws. Norville Carey then cut the deficit to 72-60 with 8:08 to play. But that's as close as Southern Miss got.
Crawford and Goodwin each had 19 points for the Tigers. Stephens had 16 points and seven rebounds and Jackson had 15 points. Thomas added 12 for UM.
Southern Miss was held to just 37.9-percent (25-of-66) from the field and 38.9% (7-of-18) from three. Memphis was 29-of-58 (50.0%) from the floor and 11-of-24 (45.8%) from three. Both teams were over 80.0% from the charity stripe, as the Golden Eagles were 16-of-18 (88.9%) and UM was 20-of-24 (83.3%). Southern Miss won the rebounding battle, 39-to-35.
Southern Miss will take a week off before returning to the court next Saturday, Mar. 2, when it hosts East Carolina. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
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