Nov. 18, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Jeremy Wise scored a game-high 26 points to lead Southern Miss to its second-straight victory to open the season in a 74-61 decision over Alabama State here Tuesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Wise was one of four Golden Eagles in double figures as he tallied his 62nd career double-digit scoring performance. Wise, who scored 21 of his points in the opening half including 11 of the first 13 points of the game for Southern Miss, finished his evening by converting 8-of-18 shots from the floor, including a 3-pointer, and 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
"He (Wise) can hit a basket for you at any time and basically the name of the game is making baskets," Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy said. "If you don't make baskets you don't look very good. This was a very difficult Division I opponent in my mind (that we defeated), who will beat some of these teams that they are playing like they did last year."
R.L. Horton added 16 points for the Golden Eagles, while Andre Stephens collected 13 points and Courtney Beasley poured in 13. Beasley became the 32nd player in Golden Eagle history to reach 1,000 points in his career during the contest. Beasley also contributed a game-high 10 rebounds to notch his second career double-double.
Southern Miss led 42-32 at intermission before scoring the first seven points of the second half to keep its advantage to double digits for the remainder of the contest.
The Golden Eagles also limited ASU, who dropped its season opener, to 33.3 percent shooting (18-of-54) while limiting preseason all-SWAC performer Andrew Hayles to 12 points and three rebounds. Hayles was the lone Hornet to average in double-figure points last season.
Tramaine Butler led the Hornets with 13 points, while Brandon Brooks tallied 12 for ASU.
Southern Miss finished the game by hitting 17-of-18 free throws, while outrebounding the visitors 46-33, including 18 offensive boards, which led to 18 second chance points for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles return to action Friday, when they take on Miami (Fla.) in the opening round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Game time is set for 12 noon CT and can be heard on the Southern Miss ISP Sports Network. Broadcast time will begin at 11:30 am.