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Southern Miss Opens Season With 60-53 Victory Over USF

Lavonte Dority (3) loses control of the ball as he collides with Southern Miss guard Angelo Johnson

Lavonte Dority (3) loses control of the ball as he collides with Southern Miss guard Angelo Johnson

Nov. 12, 2010

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TAMPA, Fla. - Southern Miss closed the game on a 20-14 run, including scoring the final 15 points, as the Golden Eagles won its season-opener at USF 60-53.

It is the second straight year that Southern Miss opened the season with a road victory.

Senior Gary Flowers scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed five rebounds and senior R.L. Horton scored 14 points and had three assists.

"This was a big win for us," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "We played well in spurts, but there were also times where we didn't play well, particularly early in the second half. But I'm proud of the way our guys fought back and never gave up."

Southern Miss led 32-28 at the half. Flowers and Horton each hit jumpers in the first two minutes of the second half. But, the Eagles were held to just one basket over the next 10 minutes as the USF took its first lead before grabbing a 49-40 lead with eight minutes to play.

From there, Southern Miss stepped up its defense and applied pressure in the offensive end. Angelo Johnson hit two free throws followed by an Ahyaro Phillips dunk cut the deficit to five.

After Augustus Gilchrist connected on a turnaround baseline jumper, Jawanza Poland and D.J. Newbill traded free throws as the Bulls pushed its lead back to eight points, 53-45, with 4:19 to play.

Following a jumper by Phillips, Flowers and Newbill took over. Newbill hit a jumper and then hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two points. A lay-up by Flowers tied the game at 53, and Newbill connected on a runner in the lane with 40 seconds remaining, giving Southern Miss its first lead since 3:36 into the second half.

Flowers connected on three straight free throws, and Horton closed the scoring with two of his own.

Southern Miss shot 42.0-percent (21-of-50) for the game, while USF was just 34.6-percent (18-of-52) from the field. The Golden Eagles, after connected on just 4-of-9 free throws in the first half, finished the game 16-of-25 (64.0%). The Bulls held the rebounding advantage, 42-36.

The Black and Gold led by as many as 10 points in the first half.

Poland led the Bulls with 12 points. Jarrid Famous scored 10 and Gilchrist added eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles will open its home schedule next Wednesday, Nov. 17, when it hosts South Alabama. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.

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