Nov. 11, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Freshman Jeremy Wise (Jackson, Miss.) scored a team-high 14 points to lead Southern Miss to a 63-38 season-opening victory over Belhaven College here Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss captured its 13th home opener in the last 14 seasons and improved to 37-25 in season openers since the 1946-47 campaign.
The Blazers got 14 points from Bobby Johnson and 11 points from Jeff Sullivan.
"I was pleased with our team as I've liked these guys from day one," said third-year coach Larry Eustachy. "We're very young and the only thing that we can do is get better and better."
The Golden Eagles dominated the inside, outrebounding the shorter Blazers 50-31, while outscoring the visitors 28-12 in the paint.
With the Golden Eagles leading 28-18 in the first half, Southern Miss scored the final seven points of the period, including a pair of free throws from Wise and Courtney Beasley to take a 25-18 advantage into intermission.
The Blazers cut the margin to 15 at one point in the second half, but could not close the gap the rest of the way as the Golden Eagles finished the contest, shooting 41.1 percent (23-of-56).
Belhaven's point total was the second fewest surrendered by the Golden Eagles in season openers since the 1948-49 campaign.
Southern Miss held Belhaven to 20.4 percent shooting for the game (11-of-54).
The Golden Eagles return to action Thursday, when they play host to Tennessee-Martin. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Green Coliseum.
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