March 4, 2009
DALLAS, Texas - R.L. Horton's three-point attempt with two second remaining rimmed out, as Southern Miss came up just short from completing a dramatic comeback, falling 67-65, to SMU Wednesday night in Moody Coliseum.
Southern Miss has now lost four straight games, and nine of its last ten.
Jeremy Wise led all scorers with 26 points. Courtney Beasley scored 16 points and added five assists, while Horton contributed 10 points. With Beasley's 16 points, he eclipsed the 1,400 career point mark, moving him into 15th-place on the all-time Southern Miss list.
The Golden Eagles (14-15, 4-11 C-USA) were down 42-28 at the half. Andre Stephens and Jeremy Wise hit two quick buckets to open the second half and pull to within 10. After moving within seven, Mouhammad Faye connected on a three-pointer, and Frank Otis hit a lay-up to push the lead back to 55-43 with 10:30 to play.
However, Wise scored 11 of Southern Miss' next 12 points, leading the Golden Eagles on a 12-2 run to pull to 57-55.
Two Bamba Fall jumpers pushed the lead back out to six. But a Horton three-pointer followed by a free throw by Beasley made it a two-point game.
The teams traded baskets before a Craig Craft three-pointer with 1:05 to play tied the game at 65. It was the first time Southern Miss tied the game since the start of the contest.
However, Cory Smith committed his fifth foul with 32 seconds to play, sending Fall to the line, where he connected on both shots for the difference.
SMU hit five of its first six shots to open the game, while Southern Miss missed six of its first seven, as the Mustangs grabbed an early 14-3 lead 6:49 into the game.
A lay-up by Jeremy Wise, followed by a three-point play by Courtney Beasley, pulled the Golden Eagles within six less than a minute later. However, consecutive three-pointers by Mike Walker and Justin Haynes pushed the lead back out to 20-8 with 11:08 to play.
With SMU holding a 23-12 advantage, Southern Miss scored five straight points on Beasley jumper and three R.L. Horton free throws, cutting the deficit to 23-17 with 8:18 to play. However, Mouhammad Faye connected on a three-pointer to send SMU on a 19-9 run, giving it a 42-26 advantage, its largest of the game. A Bryson Brewer lay-up with less than a second remaining sent the Golden Eagles in the half down 42-28.
Faye led the Mustangs with 18 points and pulling down six rebounds. Fall scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Derek Williams added 14 points.
Southern Miss closes out the regular season this Saturday when it hosts UTEP in a nationally televised contest on CBS College Sports. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.
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