March 3, 2007
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Jeremy Wise led five Southern Miss players in double figures with 19 points as Southern Miss rallied for an 83-73 regular-season finale victory over Marshall, giving third-year coach Larry Eustachy his 300th career victory here Saturday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.
Courtney Beasley added 17 points for the Golden Eagles (19-10 overall, 9-7 C-USA), while Gjio Bain and Craig Craft added 14 and Sai'Quon Stone tallied 11. The point total for Bain was a season-high.
Mark Dorris paced the Thundering Herd attack with a game-high 23 points, while Chris Ross added 16 and Markel Humphrey tallied 15.
In 16 seasons as a Division I head coach, Eustachy has compiled a 300-193 mark with stops at Idaho, Utah State and Iowa State.
It did not look as if Eustachy and the Golden Eagles would be able to celebrate that milestone as they found themselves behind at the half, 34-28.
Southern Miss, though, rallied with a 15-2 run over the first 4:35 of the final half to take a seven-point advantage at 43-36 with 15:25 to play. Craft scored five points during that stretch, which included putting the home team ahead twice during the spurt.
The Thundering Herd (12-18, 7-9) then scored 16 of the next 23 points and Robbie Jackson's dunk finished that run with 9:53 to play which gave the visitors a 52-50 advantage.
The two teams then battled back and forth and the game was tied for the 12th and final time at 57-57 with 6:38 left after a Dorris jumper for the Herd.
Bain, who recorded third double-digit scoring game of the year, then converted a three-point play which triggered a 9-0 run, as Sai'Quon Stone followed with a thunderous dunk and Craft hit two shots to give the Golden Eagles a 66-57 lead with 5:00 left.
Marshall closed the gap to four on a pair of occasions down the stretch, but Southern Miss converted 6-of-8 free throws in the final minutes, three from Wise and Stone each, as the Eagles held on for the win.
The Golden Eagles return to action, Wednesday (March 7), when they open play in the Conference USA Championship presented by Aeropostale. Southern Miss, which will be the No. 6 seed in the event, will play No. 11 seed SMU at 2:30 p.m. at the FedExForum. A victory over the Mustangs and the Golden Eagles would then play No. 3 seed Houston, Thursday, at 2:30 p.m.