Southern Miss pummels Blue Mountain, 90-46
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Nine different Golden Eagles scored in the first 15 minutes, and Southern Miss added another big run in the second half for good measure to defeat Blue Mountain, 90-46, on Monday night to begin the Sanford Pentagon Showcase.
The tournament continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D., where the squad will play South Dakota, Youngstown State and Northern Colorado. The win over the Toppers was Southern Miss' largest margin of victory since Dec. 27, 2011 versus Belhaven (93-48).
"Blue Mountain has played a lot of basketball the past few days, so they came in tired," head coach Doc Sadler said. "They were shooting about 46 or 47 percent from three for the year. I thought our defense did a good job at contesting those. Offensively, we played well in the first half, besides those last five or six minutes when we got a little shot-happy and went quicker than I wanted to."
The Toppers were held to 32.7 percent shooting on the night, including a 1-for-13 mark on long-range attempts in the second half.
Southern Miss (2-1) began the game with 15 makes on its first 21 field-goal attempts, and two free-throws from D'Angelo Richardson extended the lead to 37-11 with 6:30 to go in the first half. Blue Mountain chipped away to get within 42-26 at the break.
The Golden Eagles turned it up a notch midway through the second half, piecing together a 17-2 run over nearly six minutes, which upped the advantage to 77-33 with 7:18 on the clock. It even got to 87-37 on a LaDavius Draine layup in traffic at the 5:47 mark.
Tyree Griffin was again the star for the Black and Gold, collecting 17 points and nine assists with two steals. It marked the third-most dimes of his collegiate career, including 12 at Kansas and 10 versus Kansas State during his sophomore campaign at Oklahoma State (2015-16). The last Golden Eagle to have nine assists or more was Khari Price on Feb. 11, 2016 versus UAB.
Anfernee Hampton scored 16 points off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting, after not having a field goal in his Southern Miss career. He redshirted the 2016-17 season after transferring from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.
"The second half, we started sharing the ball again and running our offense," Sadler said. "When you do that, you have a chance. We have enough guys who can shoot it. Overall, I was pleased. I thought Eddie Davis III had a good ballgame. Defensively, he did a lot of things that won't show up in the stats. When you look at Penny [Hampton's] and his offense, and he shot the ball very well. He will have to do that for us, and he can."
-The only other meeting between the schools came on Nov. 29, 2007, which was a 112-75 win for Southern Miss.
-The Golden Eagles scored their most points since Feb. 2 against Marshall (won, 91-76).
-The team's 53 percent field goal percentage was its best since the 2016-17 opener versus Tougaloo (56.7 percent).
-Southern Miss dished out 19 assists, its most since Feb. 11, 2016 versus UAB.
-Kevin Holland finished 3-for-3 from long range, the fifth time he's had three or more treys in a game.
-Cortez Edwards had five assists, the 17th time he's accomplished that feat (14 of those coming last year as a sophomore).
-Eddie Davis went 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 at the foul line for 11 points. He is now 10-for-12 on the season from the field.