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Southern Miss Rallies To Top Iona at Paradise Jam

Nov. 24, 2008

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ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - For the second time in as many games, Southern Miss erased a second half double-digit deficit to pull out a victory, as the Golden Eagles came back from ten points down to defeat Iona, 64-63.

The win gave Southern Miss (4-1) fourth-place at the 2008 Paradise Jam.

With 12 minutes left in the game, Iona (2-2) took a 48-38 lead, it's largest of the game. However, over the next five minutes, the Golden Eagles went on a 14-4 run. Two free throws by Craig Craft tied the game at 52, and R.L. Horton's free throw with 5:24 to play gave the Golden Eagles their first lead since late in the first half.

After a lay-up by Craft, the Gaels tied the game on a Milan Prodanovic three-pointer, and then went up two when Scott Machado connected on two free throws.

Craft cut the deficit to one on a free throw of his own, and R.L Horton, who had a game-high 19 points, hit a jumper with 3:03 remaining. A jumper and two free throws by Jeremy Wise extended the lead to 62-57, but two Iona lay-ups made it a one-point game.

The teams traded two-pointers, and with ten seconds left, the Eagles attempted to in-bound the ball. But Craft's pass went out of bounds, and the Gaels had one last chance to win. But Jermel Jenkins' three-point attempt was off the mark, and Southern Miss walked away with its second straight come-from-behind victory.

Iona began the game scoring the first four points. However, Southern Miss went on a 16-4 run to take a 16-8 lead with 8:53 to play in the half.

However, the Gaels stepped up their defense, and began hitting threes, going on a 12-4 run to tie the game at 20.

Southern Miss, however, scored none of the next 11 points, to take a 29-22 lead with 2:47 to play in the half. But Iona closed the half on an 11-2 run to go into the break with a 33-31 lead.

Jeremy Wise had 16 points and six assists for the Golden Eagles. It was the first time this year that Wise was held to under 21 points.

Kashif Pratt led the Gaels with 14 points, while Gary Springer had 12 and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Southern Miss shot 52.4 percent (22-of-42) from the field, while holding Iona to 44.0-percent.

The Golden Eagles will take a week off before returning to action, Dec. 2, when they host South Alabama at 7 p.m. CT.

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