Nov. 22, 2008
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - The Southern Miss men's basketball teams erased an 18-point first quarter deficit to defeat LaSalle, 76-72, in overtime in the second round of the Paradise Jam.
Southern Miss advances to the fourth-place game, where they will face Iona, Monday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Junior Jeremy Wise led all scorers with 25 points, while grabbing four rebounds and recording four assists. Craig Craft added 18 points, including four three-pointers, and pulled down a game-high six boards.
The Golden Eagles were down by 17 points with 15:01 to play in regulation, when Wise and Craft took over.
Wise hit a three-pointer ten seconds later. After a Kimmani Barrett lay-up, Wise connected on another three. LaSalle pushed the lead back out to 14, but Craft connected on two straight threes to cut the deficit to single-digits with 11:39 to play.
After two Barrett free throws made it 50-40, the Golden Eagles went on an 18-9 run, capped off by an R.L. Horton three-pointer, his first of the year, to cut the lead to 59-58.
Both teams then hit two free throws, but Vernon Goodridge tipped in a Rodney Green missed lay-up to put the Crusaders up three.
However, Craft struck once again, tying the game with his fourth three-pointer of the half. Two Barrett free throws gave LaSalle a two-point lead with 1:03 remaining. The teams traded possessions before R.L. Horton connected on a jumper with 11 second remaining.
LaSalle had two possessions to take the lead, missing two lay-ups in the remaining seconds, but Wise fouled Goodridge with 1.3 seconds left, sending him to the line. But Goodridge missed both shots, and the Eagles grabbed the rebound, quickly calling a timeout.
With the ball at half court and 1.2 seconds on the clock, Horton threw a perfect in-bounds pass to Wise, who caught the ball just inside the three-point line, took one dribble, and lofted a five-footer towards the net. The ball bounced on the rim twice, before falling out, sending the game to overtime.
The Eagles then took over in overtime. Horton hit a jumper a minute and a half in to give Southern Miss their first lead since 2:21 into the game. Two lay-ups by Wise and Courtney Beasley gave them a four-point lead. LaSalle hit a jumper, but on the ensuing possession, Horton drove to the basket, got fouled, and converted the three-point play to give the Eagles its largest lead of the game at 74-69.
The Crusaders again cut the lead to two on Ruben Guillandeaux's third three-pointer with 18 seconds left. But the Eagles held them off to finish the comeback.
Horton finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Beasley added 12 points.
Rodney Green scored 22 for LaSalle, and Barrett added 15.
The Eagles finished 7-of-15 from behind the arc, including 7-of-9 in the second half.