Southern Miss Falls Short to Marshall 108-106 in OT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Austin Loop hit a jumper as time expired in overtime to lift Marshall to a 108-106 Conference USA basketball victory at the Cam Henderson Center Saturday night. The Golden Eagles ended their season at 8-21 overall and 5-13 in C-USA action.
Behind a career-high 40 points from Kourtlin Jackson, tying him for fifth-most points in school history, the Golden Eagles led by as many as 23 in the first half but could not hold down the league's top scoring team.
"I couldn't be any more pleased with this team's effort that they gave tonight doesn't surprise me," said Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler. "We played as good as we can play and shot it about as well as we can shoot it."
Southern Miss had to play without two of its better players down the stretch as Khari Price, who serves as the team's point guard, fouled out with 5:37 to play in regulation and Jackson had hit night ended with 1:26 left in the second half.
Southern Miss led for most of regulation until Jon Elmore, who led the Thundering Herd with 35 points, hit a jumper for its first lead since the early going with 27 seconds remaining at 96-95.
Quinton Campbell, who added a career-high tying 17 points, then hit two free throws to allow the visitors to retake the lead. On the ensuing possession, Cortez Edwards got a blocked shot and Raheem Watts was fouled with 14.1 seconds remaining. Watts hit one of two free throws to give Southern Miss the two point advantage at 98-96.
Marshall (16-15, 12-6) brought the ball down on the next possession and their attempts at a shot followed by a scramble for the basketball that went out of bounds with 0.4 ticks left. The inbounds pass was a lob for James, Kelly, who notched 24 points, which he made as time expired to send the game into overtime.
After giving up the opening bucket of the overtime period, Southern Miss notched the score with a pair of free throws from Campbell and went ahead on a 3-pointer by Watts to put them up 103-100 with 2:49 to play.
Kelly again came up big for the Herd with 1:30 left on a 3-pointer to give the home team the one-point advantage, before Edwards tied the game with a free throw with just over a minute left.
Southern Miss then had a chance to take the advantage in the game's waning moments, but a charging call on Keljin Blevins with eight seconds to play set up the final game-winning possession for Marshall.
The Golden Eagles started the game on fire, jumping out to a 30-9 lead over the first seven and half minutes, and led by as much as 37-14, before Marshall made an 11-2 run, but Southern Miss pushed the margin to 54-37 at intermission.
With the win, Marshall clinched the third seed in next week's Conference USA tournament in Birmingham, Ala.