Nov. 28, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss got off to a quick start and never looked back, defeating Spring Hill, 90-57, Saturday evening in Reed Green Coliseum.
With the win, Southern Miss improves to 5-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season when they opened 7-0.
"We out-talented them," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "We were bigger and longer. But I like the attitude of our team. We have plenty of room for improvement. If we start playing the game the right way, I think we can really be good. But starting with Saturday's game, the rest of our schedule is really good."
Junior R.L. Horton led the way for the Golden Eagles with 19 points, all of which came in the first half. Senior Buchi Awaji had a season-high 13 points, and sophomore Maurice Bolden and Angelo Johnson each had 10 points and four rebounds, with Johnson adding four assists. Junior Gary Flowers was a point away from a double-double, as he scored nine points while grabbing a game-high 13 boards.
Southern Miss got off to a hot start, hitting five of its first six shots on its way to an early 14-3 lead. But Marcus Coleman brought Spring Hill back, connecting on four three-pointers as the Badgers went on a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to 19-15 with 12:35 to play in first half.
However, two three's by Horton and three by Buchi Awaji gave the Black and Gold a 16-4 run, over the next 4:29. A three-pointer by Coleman pulled the Badgers to within 35-22 with 7:27 to play in the first half, but the Golden Eagles closed the half on a 14-6 run to hold a 51-28 lead at the break.
In the first half, Southern Miss connected on 64.3-percent of its shots, including seven three-pointers, while holding Spring Hill to 36.7-percent from the floor.
The Golden Eagles cooled off in the second half, connecting on just three of their first 10 shots. But a trey by Bolden gave the Black and Gold a 60-30 lead.
Spring Hill would get no closer than 25 points the rest of the way, as Southern Miss led by as many as 34 in the second half.
Southern Miss scored 27 points off of 18 Spring Hill turnovers, while outrebounding the Badgers 49-26. For the second consecutive game, the Eagles hit over 50-percent of their shots, connecting on 34-67 (50.7%). They also hit a season-high eight threes.
Coleman led all scorers with 20 points, including 17 in the first half. Antonio Burch scored 14, and Nick Brown added 10.
Southern Miss takes a week off before beginning a two-game road swing next Saturday, Dec. 5, when they travel to Oxford, Miss., to face in-state rival Ole Miss. Tip-off is set for Noon CT and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.