Nov. 21, 2008
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - Southern Miss could not overcome a 12-point halftime deficit, as the Golden Eagles fell, 70-60, to 16th-ranked Miami (Fla.) in the opening round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Junior Jeremy Wise scored 21 points to lead all scorers. It was the third straight game Wise has scored 20-plus points and 26th time in his career.
The first half was a back and forth affair. After a Cory Smith tip-in made it 13-11, the Hurricanes went on a 9-0 run to take a 22-11 lead.
However, the Golden Eagles answered back with a 9-0 run of their own to pull within 22-20 with 4:45 in the first half. The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes, but UM went on a 10-0 run over the final two minutes of the half to go into the break with a 36-24 advantage.
The teams opened the second half by trading baskets, before Southern Miss went on a 9-1 run to pull the game back within four points 5:26 into the half.
But the Hurricanes bounced back, scoring the next seven points to extend its lead to 11 points.
The Eagles pulled to 50-41 with 10:43 to play, but would not pull within single digits the rest of the game.
The difference was at the free throw line, where the Hurricanes were 22-of-30. Southern Miss was held to just 12-of-18 from the line.
Senior Courtney Beasley scored 14 points, and freshman Cory Smith added ten points and six rebounds.
The Golden Eagles outrebounded Miami, 35-33, and forced 13 turnovers while only giving up ten.
Dwayne Collins led the Hurricanes with 14 points, including 8-of-10 from the line, and nine rebounds. The Golden Eagles held the sharp-shooting Jack McClinton to just 13 points.
Southern Miss falls into the loser's bracket of the tournament. They will play LaSalle, who fell to No. 2 Connecticut, Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. CT.