Nov. 6, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss fought off a slow start and a hard-charging Charleston team, eventually pulling away for a 72-58 victory in its final tune-up of the exhibition season, Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss has now won 14 straight exhibition games and is 36-6 in exhibition play overall.
"First off you've got to credit Charleston," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "Mark Downey has been a friend of mine for many years and he does a great job. Their team competed. We held them to a decent defensive field goal percentage, and forced them into 17 turnovers, but for the most part, our energy level was good but not great. For us to be successful this year, with some of the things that we want to do, we have to play with a fantastic energy level every game."
Jerrold Brooks led the Golden Eagles with 16 points. Jonathan Mills and Daveon Boardingham pitched in 10 points, while Boardingham pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Michael Craig added nine boards to go along with seven rebounds.
Charleston came out of the gate hot, hitting four of its first five shots, all of which were three's, to take a 17-4 lead just 5:27 into the game. However, Southern Miss turned the tables, going on its own 17-4 run, including scoring 13 straight points, the last of which, a jumper by Daveon Boardingham, gave Southern Miss its first lead of the game, 23-21, with 4:58 to play in the first half.
Charleston retook the lead on an Evan Faulkner three-pointer, but Southern Miss grabbed the lead for good on a Brooks jumper with 4:04 to play. Southern Miss went up by five points, but a jumper by Faulkner with two seconds left, which was also Charleston's first two-point field goal, sent Southern Miss into halftime with a 32-29 lead.
The teams traded baskets for the first two minutes of the second half. With the Golden Eagles up 36-34 a Dwayne Davis three-pointer was the first of seven straight points, putting Southern Miss up 43-34 just 4:30 into the half. Three straight baskets by UC cut the deficit to three points. The Black and Gold then went on a 14-5 run, taking a 57-45 lead with 7:16 to play.
But Charleston bookended a pair of three's around a jumper to pull back to within 57-53 with just 5:32 to play. However, Southern Miss went on an 11-0 run, including eight straight by Brooks, to put the game away.
Faulkner led Charleston with a game-high 21 points. Hayden Annett scored 12 points and Xavier Humphrey put in 11. Terrell Lipkins added eight assists.
Southern Miss shot 38.7-percent (24-of-62), but was 20-of-25 from the free throw line (80.0%). Charleston was 19-of-51 (37.3%) from the floor and shot 36.4-percent (12-of-33) from behind the three-point line. Southern was outrebounded UC, 46-30, and outscored them 36-to-6 in the paint.
Southern Miss opens the regular season this Saturday, November 10, when it hosts Sun Belt Conference Champion Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m.
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