Nov. 19, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Southern Miss closed the game on a 10-3 run to pull out the 61-49 victory over Sam Houston State in its first game of the Progressive Legends Classic Sub-Regional, Monday night.
With the win, head coach Donnie Tyndall becomes the first coach to win his first three games at Southern Miss.
Dwayne Davis scored a career-high 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Jonathan Mills recorded his first double-double of the season and the fifth of his career, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
"I'm proud of my guys," said Tyndall. "I thought we played very hard, especially at the defensive end. We didn't have a very deep bench, so we got it done with mainly six guys tonight. I'm proud of the fact that we held them to 27.0% (shooting). That's a very good defense, especially on the road. We had such a good energy during the game, and I'm just very proud of this team tonight."
The teams traded points early in the game. With the game tied at five, Dwayne Davis drilled his second straight three-pointer, propelling the Golden Eagles to nine straight points and a 14-5 lead. Marquel McKinney made it a seven point game, but Cedric Jenkins, in his first action of the year, nailed a three-pointer, followed by two Daveon Boardingham free throws for a 12-point lead.
Sam Houston State hit four straight free throws to pull to within eight points. But a Neil Watson three-pointer sent Southern Miss sent Southern Miss on a 9-2 run to give the Golden Eagles their largest lead of the game, 28-13, with 7:43 to play in the half.
However, a McKinney three-pointer broke a broke a 10 minute field goal drought, and the Bearkats closed the half on a 15-6 run to cut the lead to 34-28 at halftime.
Southern Miss scored six of the first seven points of the second half to take a 40-29 lead just 2:22 into the half. But three-pointers by McKinney and Jeremy McKay helped pull Sam Houston State to within five points.
The teams would then trade baskets over the next nine minutes, as SHSU never got closer than five points. With Southern Miss holding a 51-46 lead with 6:41 to play, the Golden Eagles closed the game on a 10-3 run to pull out the victory.
McKay led the Bearkats with 10 points. Nathaniel Mason had nine points and Darius Gatson added six points, six rebounds and seven assists.
The Black and Gold shot 50.0-percent from the floor (22-of-44) and 31.6-percent from behind the arc (6-of-19). Sam Houston was held to just 11-of-41 (26.8%) from the floor and 24.0-percent (6-of-25) from three. Southern Miss also outrebounded SHSU, 32-to-26.
Southern Miss continues play in the Progressive Legends Classic tomorrow night when it faces UC-Irvine at 5 p.m. CT.
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